Friday, September 16, 2011

Ride review, Michagon Upper Peninsula, day 2

Seems odd to give the ride that title, when we're not there yet.  Anyway, like I mentioned...finding the hotel was a challenge due to frontage roads and parking lots, darkness, tiredness, etc.  McDonalds was right next door for breakfast, so we did the sensible thing and rode over there to eat.  You didn't think we were going to walk, did you?

After eating and resting (there's  a euphamism), outside putting on chaps, making sure all gear is strapped down, a couple wearing matching brown shirts (cute, considering they were both 50+) commented on the weather, which was indeed perfect.  They said:  "first time we've been cooler than 90 since mother's day".  So, yeah, we blabbed with them for awhile, and although they did invite us to come to AR to ride, they didn't supply their address so we could stay with them.  Enough talking, let's ride!  North on I35w, merge w/I35, exit to go east to Taylor's Falls.  Tony leads a ride there each year, nice place.  We stopped to look at the river, and think we may return there to see the falls, if possible.  Continue east, then turn north on 63 in Turtle Lake.

One benefit of this new bike that Val has is that she can now go at least 160 miles per tank.  And so we did....almost every tank.  I think it saves some time...but have not conducted a scientific study.  For example...often I need to stop more often in the morning than in the afternoon.  I don't know why...but that is the way the bladder functions.  So.  We left Rochester Thursday night with a full tank of gas.  The hotel was approx 103 miles from home...thereby leaving us with about 60 miles to go before we would HAVE to stop for gas.  I figgered we'd hop on the bikes, ride 30-45 miles and need a restroom break, which we'd take at the gas station.  This is what we did pretty much every day, except for the night we stayed in Harvey; we had to fill up before leaving town.

I don't remember where we stopped for gas, but I do remember that we didn't stop for lunch until quite between 2 and 3.  We did pull into one little dump that had a sign on the window that they had premium gas, and the pump indicated that that is all they had, and it was $4.73/gallon.  We kept on going.  Lunch occured in Ashland WI, at a Mexican restaurant.  We stopped at a welcome center on the way into town, a lady said it was the best Mexican food she's ever eaten.  I feel sorry for her.

Lake Superior welcome center, Ashland WI

crappy pic of Prentice Park artesian well

Val enjoying a cold drink from the well

world's largest corkscrew, Hurley WI

Val had stepped onto the wood to the left of the pipe of the well, it was wet, it was mossy, it was slippery. Not a good combination for her, really.  After inserting the pics, my text is centered.  weird.  We clearly should have had lunch before going to the park, the story of trip to the park aside from what I've shared will remain a secret!  After we got the water and lunch and gas, (hey, we ate mexican!) we set out for Hurley, WI, which is right next door to Ironwood MI.  Hurley is home of the giant corkscrew.  The liquor store was kind enough to sell a bottle of whiskey to me, a bottle that treated me quite well.  It lasted all week, and gave me no headaches.

Ironwood is home to Hiawatha, the largest Indian in the world, so we went to see him.  Made of fiberglass, erected in the 60's, he's held up pretty well. 

close up so you can see how pretty he is

Hiawatha, Ironwood MI
Seems like I should be able to fit those pics side by side, doesn't it?  Oh well.
Kind of an early day, so we check in and lay around for a while.  Besides, we just had lunch a couple hours ago!  It's a decent hotel, has coupons for dinner 3 blocks away.  So we walk! The UP was enjoying near record heat the week that we were there, 80' not too hot.  Still, shorts would have been nice.  Pretty good dinner, fish on Friday is not just a MN thing.  We strolled back to the hotel via the gas station along the way to get an ice cream treat for dessert.  We plunked it on the ice bucket to keep it semisolid until we were ready for it.  I was using Val's totally flat diet Mt Dew as a mixer for the whisky that I bought.  I really don't recommend that. Some reading and some tv rounded out the night...we're done.
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