Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day One Hundred Seventy-six, 090823 - Strongs, MI

Day One Hundred Seventy-six, Date Sunday, August 23, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:59
Distance for the Day: 55.66 miles From Sault Ste Marie To Strongs, MI
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8496.2 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 721’/949’ Highest: 1011’ Accumulated: 1056’
Speeds: Avg: 9.3 mph, Max: 23.7 mph
Weather: 56° partly cloudy, heavier in the east
Expenditures: $29C

I woke up at 6am and got up at 6:10am; still lots of mosquitoes, but conditions were dry, which is always welcome. I had a pretty heavy slug attack this morning, which I had to spend a bit of time dealing with – getting them off my tent and ground tarp. This morning, I woke up with the Joan Baez song, Silent Running going through my head. I rode to the overpass where the highway exit was to get away from mosquitoes, changed my crotch cloth, ate the other banana, and drank a grapefruit drink. I finished packing my bags and continued forward at 7:42am to SSM, which I made by 8:30am. I still had some Canadian money left, so I went looking for someplace I could get breakfast, and charge my notebook and camera, but after going through downtown (everything was still closed), and chatted for a while with an old guy on a bicycle. I looked in the local casino for breakfast/electricity opportunities, but they didn’t allow computers inside – wonder why). I finally found a nice cafĂ©; they didn’t have electricity, but I went ahead and had a nice $14C breakfast anyways. I then stopped at the duty free store to buy some trailmix and a candy bar, and gave the rest of my change to fight MS.

Surprisingly, I was able to cross the bridge on my trike, but this time, I waited in line with the rest of the cars, though this line was much shorter than the one at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. I got through customs without incident, and re-entered the USA at 12:35pm. I then proceeded to the visitor center, found an outside outlet, and recharged my notebook and camera, while figuring out how to reorganize and re-synch my iPod. Around 2:25pm, I left to continue on my route, now towards the northernmost point in the contiguous 48 United States: the Northwest Angle. At 6:22pm I was heading west on Hwy 28 out of Brimley, and I have to say: it was just gorgeous! The weather was cool, the breezes were light, the clouds went completely away, the lightly trafficked road with clean, smooth, and sufficiently wide shoulders went through a pretty, low-forest area, and, the climbs were gentle. I went from 750’ to 1K’ but didn’t even notice it, and there were stealth camp opportunities practically every couple of miles. It was like heaven compared to Canada’s Hwy 17 – how nice!

I found a stealth camp site next to a power transformer station a few miles past Strongs Corner at 7:52pm (N46 20.751’ W85 1.111’). It was still pretty bright out, but it was getting kind of cool, so I set up camp and got nailed by three mosquitoes, twice on hands on once on thigh. I was still somewhat visible from the road, but I was at least 60 yards from the road, so I doubt anyone noticed me. Since I didn’t have a book, I listened to my iPod until 12:30am (that thing can be addictive, sometimes) and went to sleep in the glare of the high pressure sodium vapor light, which I didn’t realize was there. Oh, well – I slept undisturbed the whole night, anyways.

Day One Hundred Seventy-seven, Date Monday, August 24, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:06
Distance for the Day: 81.96 miles From Strongs To Munising, MI
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8578.2
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 949’/671’, Highest: 957’ Accumulated: 1572’
Speeds: Avg: 10.1 mph, Max: 39.6 mph
Weather: 46° clear with lots of moisture on the ground
Expenditures: $20
(Note: I had to append this day's blog to the Day 176 entry as I forgot to post it when I was supposed to. Thanks, M, for catching that!)

Woke up a little late today, stayed up until 12:30am listening to two-out-of-three LOTR albums and others; woke up at 6:08am; still lots of mosquitoes despite the cool temps; put on anti-skeeter gear; attack of the daddy long legs today, and one slug left from yesterday – got rid of them all; the power station had a big halogen light; would have liked to see the stars – haven’t seen them in a while, maybe tomorrow; took off at 6:59am and ready to roll in the Hiawatha Nat’l Forest; 9:39am seen two large birds of prey and a beautiful *live* green racer snake 8” long and a ¼” thick that was sunning on the road, and he raced off into the grass as I went by; stopped in Newbury from 10:15am to 10:40am to get breakfast of cinnamon bun and choco drink and supplies for $12 and cont on towards next target town of Munising; made Munising at approx 6pm and found a Subway so got meal deal, charged up notebook and iPod, and wrote up notes for blogs until 9pm. After spending between 6pm and 9:56pm at Subway charging the notebook and iPod and transferring more music from computer to the iPod, blog writeups for almost 4 hours, left Subway, dark out, small town of Munising which is on one of the great lakes, headed towards the lake and found a very nice spot, grassy area next to a war memorial (N46 24.707’ W86 39.031’), bit windy, kept the mosquitoes off me, away from the traffic, was set up an in tent by 10:30pm, just went right to sleep; at about 2am, I started to see flashes of lightning and heard thunder; got up to make my trike more waterproof; but the storm had passed to the northeast, so I took pictures of lightning over the lake; then went back to bed.

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