Day 50 – Hancock to Baraga State Park (Total Miles = 821.65)


It took us 1 hour to go 3 miles.  For those that prefer…that is 3 miles per hour!!  For those runners out there…that is a 20 minute pace per mile.  You speedsters…that is 0.05 miles per minute.  You all get it, now?  Our toughest climb to date!!  I thought riding out of Copper Harbor was tough!!  That was child’s play to leaving Houghton.  Child’s Play, I tell ya!!  As a matter of fact, our ride to Baraga State Park took us 6 hours and 43 minutes in the searing heat.  We went 38.4 miles and ended with a 5.7 mph average speed.

A couple of positives on this day.  First, we met Nathan.  Nathan lived along the route, in Chassell Township, and saw us coming UP the road (not down the road).  He waited for us to crest his hill so that he could talk with us.  Nathan is an avid cyclist and is influential in the Houghton biking scene.  Nathan made the mistake of telling us that he corroborated with Tour Da Yoop, Eh race director on route options.  Nathan got the evil eye from me…  :\    Seriously though, Nathan filled our water bottles, recounted the remaining route to Baraga State Park, and provided a really nice diversion from what lay directly in front of us.  Second positive…we made it up what was directly in front of us…without stopping!

Third positive…we met Sam on the road. He flew by us about 5 miles out of Baraga. From our short greetings while riding, we knew we would see him at the campground. As it turned out, we had a reservation, but Sam did not. We offered to share our site and to our delight, he did! Sam was out for a long weekend with plans to meet his buddies for a ride to Copper Harbor. Haha!! Just wait until they ride out of there!! Sam has been a nature enthusiast all his life and is now a wilderness guide. He rode real light with only a few essentials. Sam went and bought some beer so we all enjoyed some conversation before heading to bed.

Day 50 done…and in the blog.


Why Bother Showing This?!  It Doesn’t Do The Suffering Justice!!  Leaving Downtown Houghton.

Some Downhill and A View Ahead From The Road


Our View From Nathan’s House And Our Looming Route Ahead


Day 48 & 49 – Lac La Belle to Hancock (Total Miles = 783.25)

Reluctantly, we had to leave our hero Ron.  But, thoroughly inspired, we hit the road with a goal in mind…Hancock.  This would finish the loop of the Keweenaw Peninsula and would be our longest ride yet, 46 miles.  The day was awash in sunshine, and cool…made just right for the long bike ride to Hancock.

It turned out to be one of the best rides yet!  The road was in good shape and flat.  It wound along the shores of Lake Superior, so the views were spectacular.  Both Ken and I were in high spirits, laughing, and already reminiscing about Ron and the town of Lac La Belle.  As we rounded a curve I saw this dead tree in the distance with something at the top.  The closer we came I could see that it was an eagle.  The sight was just WOW!!  I thought it might be a golden eagle, but found out later that it was more likely an immature eagle.  The bald eagle takes 3 years for their heads to turn white.  If this was a youngster, it was huge!!  The eagle allowed us to stop and take pictures to our hearts content.  These birds are so majestic, so big, I will never, ever, get tired of seeing one.  I could have sat on the side of the road for hours just watching, but we finally moved on.

Then, just like that, a moose!!  We had not ridden more than 10 minutes before we saw her in the swamps.  Yay!!  A moose!!  I so wanted to see a moose while in the U.P.  Again, I have seen moose in Colorado, but who could ever tire of seeing one?  Another huge animal, so beautiful, so different from any other.  She was startled by us, but stayed long enough for us to stop and get a picture.

HaHaHa…I laughed all the way into the town of Gay!  Yes, I was gay and giddy from the mornings ride, so entering the town of Gay befitted my mood.  Then, don’t you know?, we came upon a doe and her fawn.  Obviously used to people, they posed and smiled for the camera, before meandering on.

The well-known landmark in the town of Gay, is the Gay Bar.  Of course, Ken and I had to stop for a quick beer, even though we still had 24 miles to reach Hancock.  It was there that we met Chicki.  At 86 years old, every Sunday he drives to his favorite restaurant for a turkey dinner, then over to the Gay Bar for 2 warm beers.  Yes, I said warm beers.  Absolutely in violation of what a beer should be, right?!  Chicki said he started drinking warm beer long ago when he was in Germany, because that is how they drank it.  Chicki is another who has been devastated by suicide.  He found it difficult to talk about, but related how his son had taken his own life.  He would hear nothing of the comfort Jesus could provide him.  But, the seed was sewn anyway, and sometimes when nearing the end of life, Jesus will pull someone out of the depths.  We pray this will happen for our friend, Chicki.

We felt like skipping back to our bikes, but didn’t.  We did gayly ride out of town though, toward the next one, Lake Linden.  This is the town where Bruce, the retired dentist, lived and had made his practice.  We saw his empty office as we passed through…that was after we stopped at the local ice cream shop.

We did it!  We rode 46 miles!  And enjoyed it!!

We stayed at the hotel in Hancock for 2 days to recuperate.  Our next goal is to get to Marquette, where the plan is to stay for awhile.  Most people don’t know that I lived in the area from 1975 – 1979.  I want to check it out.

Immature Eagle



The Doe And Her Fawn (Oops…baby was pooping!)


Tobacco River – Roadside Stop

Ken and Chicki At The Gay Bar

Makeshift Tepee

Huge Print.  No Dog Is That Big.  ???

Bruce Said Wolf Are Seen In The Area All The Time

Water So Clear You Can See The Layer Of Rock In It

Hancock To Houghton Lift Bridge.  We Were Able To See It Lift For A Sailboat.

Sailboat Docked In Houghton.  Mt. Ripley In The Background.

View From Houghton To Hancock.  Hancock Mine Atop Quincy Hill In Background.