Sunday, July 20, 2014

Michigan - Upper Peninsula

We have been somewhat lazy and are badly behind with our posts. Partly because there was not so much happening in our life besides World Cup. Skippy was in World Cup mood ever since we left Finland and it was a big concern to her where she can watch the games. Then the virus also affected me and I got hooked :D

We had reserved a cabin in Rapid River with Wifi and cable TV in order to be able to watch the World Cup. The cabin was surrounded by green and the forest started just a few meters away from the cabin where we were able to play with girls. They loved it. Mosquitoes were really nasty during our stay and besides killing about 30 mosquitos (that's were my animal love stops) each day in the cabin (and the windows did have some mosquito nets installed) I got my first tick bite ever and during the next days I found two more. Nasty buggers.
Cabin in Rapid River.
Plenty of roadkill along the streets - here an example ;)
Our "backyard" at the cabin.
River besides the cabin (upstream).
Bench with a wildlife view (downstream).
Little bird told us to go away.
Not much happened as we were mostly watching the games, taking girls out for walks and do some minor shopping. I chose a small detour via Cornwell and some gravel roads to Escanaba for one of my shoppings and I got really worried. All this heavy rain from the past days made the road surface very soft creating sudden soft spots and leaving few small puddles. I wanted to have my fun ride and I decided to give Skippy some mental rest from me and went to explore the gravel roads of the Upper Peninsula around Hiawatha National Forest. It was such a fantastic ride that I made an own post of it which you can find here.
Beautiful flower.
Dense fern.
Woodpecker's work.
Groundhog game by few times per day to look for food.
Skippy brought me a little flower with her Vibram shoes :)
Yeah - cherry time :)
Brushing girls.
And here they are
Blood suckers!
Finnish TV program at Juhannus.
I prepared myself with a big bottle of Salmiakkikossu.
It looked like Rapid River's best times are over. Plenty of empty and deserted buildings.

and plenty of flower fields around us.

Off-the-grid accommodation.
German flag hissed to support the German game.
May Germany win :D :D (and we did!)
Laundry with benefits: Wolfi makes laundry = Wolfi had soy latte and vegan ice cream.

Road break at Canyon Falls.
Nice cascades.
Interesting trees.
From Rapid River we went to Hancock and stayed there for a few nights at Magnuson Hotel. The hotel had a small pool and SAUNA!!! We really enjoyed our stay in Hancock. Studio Pizza was in walking distance and they offer great tasting vegan Pizzas and gluten-free if one wanted. The local co-op had a great selection on vegan delicacies - oh we were in food heaven :)
Vertical lift bridge between Houghton and Hancock.
Typically it was a little bit up - like this.
Found also all sorts of trash on the shore.
Porvoo Park
Lyra is taking a break to cool down.
Impressions from Hancock - an old mining town.

Exploring Finnish places (this was in Houghton).
Gluten-free vegan pizza - what a delight!

Match-free day = riding day, so we rode the Keweenaw Peninsula from Hancock via Gay and Copper Harbour back to Hancock Beach Campground (only 14USD). This time to camping in order to rescue our budget somewhat. Strangely the Mclain SP charged 26USD + 2x9USD for vehicle recreation charge. That was too heavy!
Found a nice rest place.
Skipping stones :)

Copper Harbour.
Snowmeter - I am soooo tiny!
It was the 4th of July weekend and our hotel in Hancock was fully booked so we went on to the next one in Houghton to Julie's Motor Inn i.e. over the bridge :D
Old railroad tracks converted to bicycle and walk ways. Skippy had good evening runs here.
And World Cup continued...
Small repair on the GS
I noted that my speed meter did not work anymore. After some quick checking I realized that the pins of the driving dog (Mitnehmer) needed some bending and after that all was fine. According to e.g. ADVrider this was a known problem at beamers.
A new breed? Houseflies which can sting!
Painesdale, MI, Champion mine.
A few days later and we went from Houghton to Porcupine Mountain. We tried to see some of the nice sights at Porcupine but they all cost! Once more the ominous 9USD/day/vehicle recreation charge. From Porcupine Mountain we rode via the south boundary road to Wakefield where we found Sunday Lake Camping - costed only 10USD/night.
Happy Anniversary!
Our track (magenta was Wolfi's funride)
Skippy made another tarvelogue (#24) - enjoy:

Click here in case you cannot watch the video in youtube.

Our dilemma with finding nice break spots.

After some thousands of kilometers in this great area of North America we came to realize that when we rode on bigger and thus boring roads we found frequent picnic areas like roadside parks, some nicer then others. However, when riding smaller and more fun roads there were plenty of private property signs, "stay out", "go away" and so on and our break places were limited to occasional forest trails, parking places and fuel stations. As it was in every new region (or country), we needed to find our way and learn what fitted to our needs when it came to resting places.

p.p.s. this little clip did not make it in the travelogue.


  1. I regret that you dont poste more. In the beginning I followed your page regularely but now I start loosing interest.

  2. The good thing is we are still alive. Sad to hear that your endurance is reaching its limit. Based on the low amount of feedback we were also wondering how many really read what we write ;)

    We enjoy ourselves riding a lot and discover the country and its people. Unfortunately we travel on a tight budget thus no money for fancy motels no more, no money for fancy 3G/4G mobile internet and the past camping places did not offer any internet at all or it did not work. Uploading a video and the pictures require somewhat speedy internet connection.
    Stay tuned - soon comes more.

  3. Just an idea: maybe you should look for more publicity. I am quite sure that - especially in USA- certain magazines or newspapers would be interested in your story. Or maybe, if you know where you are going next, why not publishing some request for meetings or anything like that in relevant newspaperes there - preferably 2-3 weeks before you go there. I think you have traveled too long time alone and need some input :-) Support does not come from alone.........

  4. INPUT