The mosquitoes. Are. Awful

We stopped briefly near the fire department museum in Rush City to snack, and to remind ourselves that Devo is a great band.  From Rush City we continued northward.  In Pine City, we made camp lunch at a picnic table in front of City Hall. An 18 year old in a giant pickup truck showed off the acceleration of his vehicle several times, presumably for our benefit. We rode through Hinkley, Sturgeon Lake, and eventually settled into a municipal campground on the shore of Moose Lake. Important showers were had. “The mosquitoes. Are. Awful,” said the camp host, and he was telling the truth.  
The Moose Lake Community Band rocked the amphitheater in the park to the delight of a dozen octogenarians, while a lone 12 year old girl spun mindlessly on a merry-go-round in an attempt to stay awake. 
We ate pizza at Poor Garys while debating how poor Gary actually is. Then, like bums often do, we ended the night at a local brewery. 
At the brewery, we met a local man who aired out every opinion he’s ever conceived in the course of 2 hours.  From him, we learned about Duluth (he hates it), taxation (hates it), square cut pizza (hates it), hot sauce (loves it), and heteronormativity (loves it.)

Gregolas and Mikeagorn ride again

Tue July 5

  • Cleaned hotel of woodchips and sand from our tents
  • “The Hilltop” breakfast. Giant cinnamon roll.
  • Greg broke “no food left behind” rule because granola side was more sweet than cinnamon roll
  • “Connies” for beer on the route. 
  • Google route through the back roads of Ishpeming, ended up at Grandpa Joe’s in the Cleveland mining district. 
  • Huge feast was prepared for us
  • Late night jam session on guitar, clarinet, and autoharp. Only situation I would ever play Coldplay

Wed July 6

  • Another feast for breakfast prepared by Joe and Amy – perhaps the most hospitable people I’ve ever stayed with
  • Gorgeous 15 mile bike path ride into Marquette with Mike, Claire, Rosie, and Sylvie. 6 year old Rosie rode her bike the whole way! She taught me a lot about how to ride a bike, and together we even went 17 miles per hour!
  • Rosie thinks people in cars are bored and that there should be more bikes and less cars. Rosie for president!
  • Marquette is a very nice little town with plenty of urban amenities
  • In Marquette, Grandpa Joe picked up Claire and the smalls. The three of us beelined for the brewery.
  • Beers + lunch at co-op cost us half the day
  • Greg briefly broke the no crashing rule when he experienced the first de-clipping failure of his long career. He brushed it off and avoided being placed on the DL
  • Mike rebuilt his headset on a sandy pullout halfway to our campsite
  • Sight confusion as we had not clarified which campground we were meeting Claire and the girls at – it turned out to be the one after the massive hill
  • Rosie took us on a mushroom tour of the campsite
  • Dinner was made, beers were drank, good times were had all around

Thursday July 7

  • Family road trip to pictured rocks Lakeshore trailhead in that most magnificent of chariots, Mike’s minivan
  • Lovely hike to lighthouse – entertainment was provided by Rosie’s games of 20 questions, and Claire’s wild flora expertise
  • Lighthouse had separate privies for the lighthouse master and the lighthouse assistant
  • Rest of day post-hike was spent lazing on the beach. Zach practiced skipping stones. Rosie tortured Zach with cruel tests of endurance, but later gave Greg a relaxing sand and stone massage on his elbows
  • On the ride back home, we learned Mike and Claire’s secret to parenthood – Thin Lizzy soothes and pacifies their children. Surely the result of some sick Pavlovian conditioning
  • Later, back at camp, Rosie made us all freshly burnt marshmallows. At one point, she ramped up production to four marshmallow roasting at once. Nonetheless, Sylvie seemed unimpressed
  • Greg’s camp chair got it’s first use after 500 miles – big hit with Rosie and Sylvie
  • Exposed Rosie to the dark path of 20-sided dice
  • Late night music listening/story swapping session – Sylvie is a huge Ween fan

Friday July 8

  • Mike passed us in his prized minivan leaving the park as Claire leaned out window and told us to “get a job.”
  •  Rode to Munising: vegan pastie, museum, brewery
  • Stopped at kitchy general store for a cookie as big as a hubcap
  • Kingston lake camping. Cheesy broccoli casserole. 

Saturday July 9

  • Breakfast.  
  • Bicycling.
  • Greg swam on 3 miles of sandy beach
  •  Stopped at visitor center for Pictured Rocks national rec center, old man told us about shipwrecks. 
  • Arrived Grand Marais: brewery, brian the bartender is kind of a lot; we both had the whitefish specials; hardware  store and depressing grocery store
  • Bought candy from a kids candy stand for 10cents per jolly rancher
  • Left town on a paved road, which turned into a gravel road, which turned into a road made of sand.
  • Hard riding. 
  • Corner store with old outboard motors for decor
  • Camped at Perch Lake; mushroom cheeseburgers for dinner

Sunday July 10

  • Breakfast at camp;
  • first store in miles the clerk said we rode on the worst road in Michigan
  • Stopped at brewery in Tequomenon state park; guitar guy sings john prine, tom petty
  • Ride to Paradise and another depressing grocery store; heavy metal golf cart
  • Stopped at Tequomenon river mouth campsite—lots of RVs.
  • Mac and cheese.  
  • It rained.