Day 64 – Grand Marais to Lake Muskallonge (Total Miles = 1006.65

The day we left was pretty hectic! As you all know, we don’t move too fast in the morning, and we had to be out of the campsite by 10am! I wanted to do laundry before we left, too. So, we woke up and passed on our coffee, and our food. I was getting laundry started, Ken was breaking down camp, and we were still struggling with what route to take for the day. The designated Tour Da Yoop route had 13 miles of mixed gravel roads with parts of it being soft gravel (sand). You know us and gravel roads!! We are to say “No” to gravel roads. Our friend Mike even offered to drive us over the gravel road to bypass it. I didn’t feel comfortable with that…it felt like cheating. Eugene weighed in on the situation and gave an emphatic, “Don’t do it!” He knows all the roads around here, and he was truly worried about us attempting to ride our bikes on this particular one. He pulled out his maps and laid it all out for us. He strongly encouraged us to take the longer paved route that would essentially double the distance.

We also met Brad and Betty that morning. They were another couple touring on a trike. They had this fantastic camper that they pulled and I wanted a glimpse of it. That was the start of a new friendship and a conversation that was hard to ride away from. But, they too, knew what the road was like and said to stay away from it!

We exchanged information with Brad and Betty, I said goodbye to my sweetheart Eugene, and we headed out of town. By this time, it was 1:30 in the afternoon!! We rode one last time through Grand Marais central, then turned down H-58, the dirt road. Look, we thought, if the tour could ride that route on their road bikes, we should be able to do it with our touring bikes. It was logical!

It wasn’t too bad, at first. There was hardpack, which is great to ride on. But, about a mile in, the washboarding began, then the hardpack gave way to gravel, then the gravel gave way to dirt, then the dirt turned to sand. We stopped and considered turning around, but we kept on going. We had another turn of fate, though. Coming toward us was a huge truck, with lights flashing, and blades grinding…a grader! A grader, on this day!! He drove past us, and left behind him a cleaned, graded road!! About 20 minutes later, he came back up the other side of the road! I don’t know how often the graders are out cleaning up old gravel roads, but our grader was out the day we needed him!! I blew that guy kisses from my sandy lips and he waved back to say, “No problem, happy to oblige!” We were able to navigate the road pretty well for about 8 miles, then we had a sharp left turn and were back in our nightmare world. To our joy though, we saw the most beautiful fox run across the road.

The fox long gone, we had to make our way up the road for 5 more miles. We lost count of the number of times we each fell to the dirt. We would attempt to ride, it would be okay for a few cycle turns of the gear, then fall down in the deep sand. Cars would drive by and not even slow down to give us some relief. Actually, we were quite dismayed at the behavior of the majority of the cars, trucks, and campers. A few slowed down, most just throttled on through. It amazes me that people don’t consider the fact that their car is throwing rock, and dust, and dirt everywhere, in particular, on two misguided bicyclists. We walked most of the 5 miles to the pavement, and then rode a mile to Muskallonge Lake and our campground for the night.

Thank goodness, the campground had showers!! We were a total mess. My blue shorts were white from dust, my skin chafed and bleeding again, poor Honey Badger was no longer green, but gray. Ken busted open his knuckle, and his drink bottles were unusable from the dirt and grime that covered them. But, it was all over. No one back in Woodland Park Campground knew which route we would end up taking, so I texted Brad and let him know we made it over the gravel road safely in 4 hours…and would he please let Eugene know, because I knew he would be worried about our fate.


My Sweetheart Eugene!!


Brad and Betty – B&B

Muskallonge Lake

Muskallonge Lake

Missed getting a picture of the fox.  No other pics for this, thankfully, over day…

Day 62 & 63 – Kingston Lake to Grand Marais (Total Miles = 987.65)

Woodland Park Campground was expecting us, sort of. When Matt drove us to Grand Marais for dinner, we had made a quick stop into the campground to check out the situation. I bounded out of the car and bopped over to the camp host, who was riding his golf cart. He looked at me sideways and asked what I wanted. Like a kid, I explained we would be riding bicycles into town, but will be too late for the first-come-first-serve status of the campground. Could he keep a site open for us?…Pretty Pleaasse??? He looked me over sideways again, half grimaced, and grimly said there would be one here for us. I think Eugene liked me!

So, we packed up in the morning and, as we left for Grand Marais, Matt left down the North Country Trail. A super easy ride, we made good time and arrived at Woodland Park around 2:30. As promised, we had a beautiful sight with Lake Superior in view. Eugene drove over to greet us and we were both happy to see each other. Eugene is old. I don’t know how old, but he is old. Eugene is not a Yooper, but he knows the U.P. He has been coming here for over 30 years, mostly to snowmobile in the winter. His wife passed away a few years ago, but he still comes up north every year. I think Eugene’s wife was a tough lady. He talked about how she had to have her own snowmobile, she wasn’t riding on the back of his! She loved the outdoors as much as he did. They would travel the back roads and trails on their snowmobiles, sometimes going out for several days at a time. Too cold for me, but I love that they shared adventures in the snow.

We had barely entered the park before Julie and Jeff came over to talk. Like so many others, they wanted to know our story. Yet, unlike most of the others, they insisted on getting us wood and delivering it to our site. Not too unheard of, except that they had no vehicle to drive either, and the wood was about a half mile away at the convenience store in town!! No, no, we said it was too much. They related a story of how his mother had told him to be gracious when someone offered something. How, it’s not really about you, it’s about the giver, and they wanted to do this for us. So, Julie and Jeff walked a half mile to the store, split the load of wood between them, and hand carried it back a half mile to our site, along with some items for kindling. I cry as I relate this story to you. Do you know, they did that for us, we talked a bit, and we never saw them again!

As soon as Julie and Jeff left, Bob and Pam, Collin and Ineike, our neighbors, came to talk. As it turned out, we didn’t burn our hand-delivered wood until the next day, because these 4 friends invited us to share their fire. We talked and learned a bit about each other, before we all headed to the beach to watch the sun set.

While at the beach, we met Dominic, and some other young folk getting it done on the beach! They were building a cool beach getaway made of driftwood. They had been building this special place for 3 years, coming back every summer to keep adding on. They fly the American flag and are very proud and respectful of their American heritage. They spoke of the appreciation they have for veterans, and how they thank them at every opportunity. When the flag is weathered and torn, they reverently burn the flag and replace it with a fresh new one. True Yankee Doodle Dandies!! We were asked to carve our name in a driftwood table for posterity. We did and Dominic filled it in with sand, then burnt it so our names were visible. So awesome! Our young!!

The next day, our neighbors on the other side of us came to talk. Mike and Deb are active retirees, too. Mike loves to bike and was heavily involved in the Michigan bicycle trail committees, along with his father, so it was all in the family. Deb is a walking fanatic. We related different stories of our athletic adventures, and trail concepts, and the like.

A day off the bike was nice, and I was able to work a little on the blog.

Roadside Wildflowers

Roadside Wildflowers

Roadside Signage!



Julie and Jeff Our Campground Angels

Bob, Pam, Ineike, and Collin Our Neighbors

Lake Superior Beach and Sunset







Rock Art

Beach Haven


Bringing In More Wood For The Structure

The Haven Architect Taking A Rest

Dominic and His Groupie

West Bay In Grand Marais

West Bay

Mike and Deb




Day 61 – Munising to Kingston Lake (Total Miles = 969.65)

While we were in Munising, we met a great couple from lower Michigan. Cheryl and Gary were touring on trikes and had a reference to this Bible verse on a side panel; John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. That, is a spiritual revival statement! But, as I think of that verse I am reminded of our servicemen, our police officers, our firemen, and rescuers. Ken and I are grateful for their courage to lay down their life everyday for others. Thank You!

Cheryl and Gary each had their own Gold Wing Trike, and were pulling trailers behind them. Ken and I have thought seriously about getting a trike to travel on. Optimum word here, ‘A’ trike…not two. I imagine myself sitting comfortably on the back with my sunglasses on, listening to music, pointing out the sights, and waving as we pass others…while Ken drives. Ken has a slightly different vision…he too, sees himself sitting comfortably on the trike with sunglasses on, listening to music, pointing out the sights, as the sun is setting ‘afore us…while I drive. Yeah…we have some kinks to work out, but the dream remains.

We had a nice little climb leaving Munising. The hills are getting easier to ride, but they are less steep than on the western portion of the peninsula. Nonetheless, we are able to ride longer days and take less breaks! My bottom is healed and the last seat I bought is feeling pretty good.

The day we left Munising, August 21, was going to be the day we would be watching the Tour Da Yoop, Eh? participants riding from Marquette to Grand Marais. We wore our Tour Da Yoop jersey’s and rode in anticipation all morning. We finally stopped at a store that advertised…ice cream! Just as we started slurping up melting ice cream cones, the first group of riders rode by. We screamed, and waved, and encouraged, as they flew by us at breakneck speed! The route that day was 107 miles, and was day number 8 of their 10 day tour. We are riding the same course (1200 miles) in 3 months, that they do in 10 days. Keep in mind though, that they are fully supported and stay in hotels each night.

We finished up the ice cream cones and continued onward. The rest of the day we had riders passing us, some stopping to chat with us, and the support vehicles stopping to check on us. Our pictures were taken, and promised to be put on the tour website. What a fun experience!!

We rode 30 miles that day, to Kingston Lake State Campground. This was a first-come-first-serve campground and we arrived late, around 3:30. As we suspected, all the sites were taken. As we have before, we began discussing our options, thinking we would have to finally stealth camp, when a young man asked us how we were doing. We told him the campground was full and right away he offered his site to us.

At 47 years old, Matt is a master hiker! He can work from anywhere, so he takes advantage of his time to hit the trail. Him and his family have a stellar setup. His wife also works from home, and his son is a senior in high school with options for football scholarships to attend college next year. We wish we could have met his wife and son, but Matt was on his own this time. A very active family, Ken and I were blown away by their deep faith and strong moral foundations. Matt drove us into Grand Marais for dinner, a beer, and some great conversation. We exchanged phone numbers in the hope of meeting again. We want Matt, and his family, to come hike in North Carolina! It was another day where God’s grace was bestowed upon us, by giving us a road angel in Matt the Master Hiker.

Cheryl and Gary

Tour Da Yoop Riders

Gone In A Flash

Matt The Master Hiker and Official Road Angel

Kingston Lake

Kingston Lake

Kingston Lake

Kingston Lake

This Little One Calls Kingston Lake Home