Day 77 – St. Ignace to Hog Island State Park (Total Miles = 1264 Miles)

Gosh Darn…we had to say goodbye to Tom today.

So, if you ever need a car rental anywhere in the U.P….forget about it.  Ken and I found one in Marquette, but they are far and few between.  We needed to get Tom back to Sault Ste. Marie.  We thought certainly there would be a car rental place in tourist town, St. Ignace!  But, noooo.  We even tried to recruit a guy at Cattails Cove Restaurant in Cedarville to drive him back, but to no avail.  The only way for Tom to get to his airplane in Sault Ste. Marie was to ride back, alone.  He was ecstatic!!

Tom loves to ride his bike!  With the rain, we lost what he had really longed for on this trip, to ride it!  Plus, when we are at home on our triathlon bikes, I can give Tom a run for his money!  It is usually the two of us, racing each other, finding out who will win the fast prize for the day and reveling in the victory.  Honey Badger is not built for speed.  She is built for endurance.  I am 123 lbs. pedaling a bicycle that weighs that much, or more, with the packs.  I am made for speed, not endurance, and…Oh, how I wanted to keep up with Tom!  And, oh, how he wanted me to keep up with him.  But, touring is a different kind of riding.  It is difficult to take it down a notch, or two, and ride for the journey, the scenery, the stories.  It takes a whole other mindset that Tom had not yet reached, in his short time on the road.  I wish I could have been a bird following him on his ride back to Sault Ste. Marie!  I would have loved to see the joy on his face as he rode his own journey…fast and furious and loving every moment of it!  He made 53.5 miles riding at an average pace of 13mph, with packs!  We miss you Tom, but we will meet again soon, friend!

As for Ken and I, by the time we left St. Ignace, it was after 1 o’clock.  Tom was already halfway to his destination!  We were in touring mode again, and rode 38 miles, with the wind at our back.  I stopped and saw the scenery and took a few pictures along the way, as we rode to Hog Island State Park.

The one major stop we made was at Cut River Bridge.  Lucky for me, it was directly on our route.  Ken waited for me as I walked the span of the bridge.  The bridge was built 147 feet above Cut River, which feeds into Lake Michigan.  The view made me swoon, like the real kind, not the lover poetic kind.  I actually got dizzy!  I was so afraid I would drop my phone down into the gorge!  It was a truly incredible view, and I am sure most people never stop to take a look.  It was definitely worth all the swooning!

We met Sandy and Brent at the campground.  They met through the Adventure Cycling Association.  Originally, there were going to be 4 riders, all strangers to each other, but because of Covid, they were the only two to follow through for a 3 week tour.  It made me smile that Sandy, like myself, a female, was willing to venture off the route to sightsee.  Brent was just out for the ride, and had made it to the campground about 2 hours before Sandy did.  She went to see a lighthouse that was 7 miles off of their course.  That was 7 miles in and 7 miles out, in addition to, their planned route.  Way to go Sandy!!

I tell you though, Ken and I can finally get a fire started without lighter fluid!!  It wasn’t even with purchased wood!  We scrounged around for wood and starter pieces.  And some of it was still damp!  We were talking each other up and high fiving ourselves.  We got that fire blazing hot…just in time for the rain to snuff it out.

With our tails between our legs, we plopped down in the tent for an early night.  No sooner did we plop, when Ken felt rain…in the tent.  Our poor little tent has been through a lot.  Two major, high wind, thunderstorms and a few smaller ones, she is beginning to wear thin…literally.  We had been patching some minor holes with gorilla tape here and there, just to be sure the rain wouldn’t come in.  We obviously missed some spots.  We sat there and gave each other the look, and began sopping up the water.  Thank goodness, the rain only lasted about 2 hours and it never poured down hard.  But, I have to tell you, it was at that moment we knew we had to put some Tom on, and think about getting ourselves home, fast.

Honestly, the moment I wrote those words tears began to fall.  I am not ready.  I am not done.  But, it has gotten very cold.  With my sleeping bag only rated to 40 degrees, my nights in the tent are numbered.  Riding has been colder and we have had to put on our leggings and warm gear.  The leaves are beginning to change and there has been more rain.  And, now, we have a leaky tent.  Except, I am not ready to have this journey completed.

View Of The Gorge On Cut River Bridge

Cut River, The Bridge, And Me Taking Photos

Cut River Bridge Overlook To Lake Michigan

The View From Our Campsite At Hog Island State Park

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Day 77 – St. Ignace to Hog Island State Park (Total Miles = 1264 Miles)”

  1. Amazing. Love reading all your blogs and seeing the pictures to go along with this. Stay safe, keep on cycling. When does this adventure come to a finish?

    Like

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