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A Superior run

It’s hard for us to believe that our last tour check-in was almost a month ago.  Time living on the road goes slow.  Each day as we travel our plotted route not knowing who we will meet, what we will see, what we will eat and often where we will sleep we still manage to find ways to enjoy our experiences.  To be clear there are days we get wet, days we get hot, days we get tired and days we talk about ending the tour. Luckily we have each other for support.  Somehow we continue moving forward while simultaneously adding to our collection of memories.  For us this experience slowly becomes almost epic when we look at the bigger picture.  We find that sensation amusing since all we are doing is bike riding.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising, Michigan

During the past several weeks we traversed the south shore of Lake Superior from west to east starting in Minnesota just south of Duluth and ending in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan where we crossed the border into Canada.  Along the way we crossed the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  We felt the powerful influences of the massive Lake Superior with her impacts on lumber, iron ore, shipping and fishing industries.  We have been treated to several spectacular sunsets including a favorite along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.   When we were riding directly along the lakeshore we welcomed the cooling effect of the water.   A bonus stop on our path was a stay with our nephew Skyler and his girlfriend Ellie in Ashland, WI.  It was nice to catch up with them where they actually live.   Somehow we did not get a picture with them.  🙁

The Bigfoot Hideaway’s interesting decor – Crystal Falls, MI

Thanks to more rain than we prefer we’ve stayed in several Mom and Pop motels along the way with names such as The Loon’s Nest, Bigfoot Hideaway and Fox River Inn.  To us these small and affordable places offer an individual charm that makes them more inviting than typical chain motels. We also landed at some nice private campgrounds where we’ve had the opportunity chat with a few owners.  At the beautiful Silver Lake RV Resort the owner Pete stopped by our campsite to ask us about our trip.  We had an interesting conversation about the efforts we all make to enjoy the time we have.  Later that evening our campground neighbors invited us to join them at their campfire.  At the Kritter’s North Country Campground the owner Larry shared with us his leap of faith story to leave the corporate world and buy a campground.   It’s been three years since he made the decision for himself and his family.  His positive energy and smile told us that he made the right decision.  He also dropped off a couple of cold ones for us to enjoy!

Tim and Jellet let us camp in their yard.

Friendly, generous and kind people continue to cross our path.  In Hinckley, Minnesota we were invited by Tim and Jellet to camp in their yard.  Their neighbors Susie and Scott invited us over to their home for a BBQ dinner.  We were treated like good friends.  Tim and Jellet even made breakfast for us before we left their house.  In Herbster, Wisconsin we were forced to retreat to the campground pavilion during a torrential rainstorm.  Maggie, one of our camping neighbors, left the safety of her camper to bring us a hot pot of coffee to warm our bones.  The night before our other neighbor Brian shared with us Wisconsin beer complemented with some nice Wisconsin cheese.  We met Brian the day before when we both stopped at a Windmill historical site.  Had it not been for this chance meeting with Brian we would never have known about the campground in Herbster located right on the shore of Lake Superior.

Barb & Dan – our Warmshowers hosts in Conover, WI

In Conover, Wisconsin we were fortunate to be hosted by Barb, Dan and their dog Gus.  They invited their friend Diane to join us for dinner.  We had a relaxing evening with great conversation.  If we ever win the lottery their beautiful lake home situated just right in the woods is a perfect model for us.  The day before our Pictured Rocks Sunset Cruise we stopped to check out a roadside art exhibit called Lakenenland.  As we were leaving the exhibit two couples asked us about our trip.  During the course of our conversation we discovered that they were signed up for the same cruise.  Our new friends Doug, Bev, Dean and Donna invited us to join them for dinner before the cruise.   We shared a picture perfect evening with them.  During our last night in Michigan we camped at Brimley State Park.  We felt like sardines in this VERY popular campground.  While we were setting up our tiny tent between mammoth RVs we greeted by our neighbors Ken and Connie.  Before we knew it we were invited over to join them and their close friends Ken and Sandy for snacks, beer and cocktails.  We had an enjoyable conversation about our families and we entertained them a bit with stories about our journey. Just yesterday we stopped along the road for a quick break with David, our touring partner for the day.  Shortly after stopping we saw a pickup truck approaching us with a large dog running along the side.  The truck pulled into the drive where we had stopped.  The gentleman got out of his truck, asked us if we were riding the trail and then asked if we needed any water.  Roger happened to be the owner of the yard where we stopped.  Before we knew it we were invited inside to see Roger’s beautiful converted Church home.  Roger has since checked in with us to see how we are doing using Facebook Messenger.  You just can’t make this stuff up.  What is it about simply riding a bicycle that permits us to experience simple kindness from others?

By now our family knows that we have changed our course once again.   Our original plan was to head to Mackinaw Island and turn southeast towards Washington, DC.  Well, since we are now in Ontario, Canada that’s not going to happen.  Instead we plan to ride a few days along the north shore of Lake Huron then turn south to Manitoulin Island.  From there we will ride south a few days along the Bruce Peninsula before we head northeast towards Ottawa.  From Ottawa we then proceed to Montreal and finally Quebec City.  In Quebec we hope to ride portions of the famous Route Verte.  Only time will tell if we continue this path.

We updated our photos albums today so feel free to take a look.

Thanks for reading our brief update.  We hope all of you are well.

Jacque & John

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