Day 42 Bad River Casino Wisconsin to Iron River Michigan
Coming into Iron River, late in the day, note my shadow on the left bottom
Dick Boyd took this image of my handlebar setup, with camera, computer, and map holder
I rode 110 miles today with hills, but no real wind problems. All of my riding was on US 2 which is very good riding in most of this stretch. I was in two places with touring list members: Ironwood and Iron Mountain MI, and am staying with one of them, Dick Boyd in Iron Mountain. It was a good, if a bit long at 8:30, ride with some very nice riding in both Wisconsin an Michigan.
Beech Hill on US 2 in the Bad River Reservation
This morning, the only food available at the Casino was in snack machines. I made do. After leaving the Casino, it is over 25 miles to the first services in Ironwood Michigan, so I was quite hungry when I finally had breakfast in Ironwood. When I reached Michigan, I stopped at the welcome center - very nice! - and phoned Arly Arlenson who lives in Ironwood, but no one was home. I rode on, through Ironwood, which is, frankly, some of the worst riding on US 2, and stopped for a good breakfast. Nothing like riding 30 miles in hilly country before breakfast to give one an appetite! After breakfast, I stopped at a Family Dollar store to stock up on snacks.
12 miles to breakfast!
US 2 in Michigan, better riding than it looks
About half way to Iron River on the nice US 2
Riding out of Ironwood, the road was four lanes for a while and a bit bumpy looking, but really not bad. A fellow drove by in his car on that stretch, waved and beeped and then came back to visit with me. He lives in Fint MI and has a cabin on a lake in the UP near US 2. He gave me a map (I had just lost the one I got at the visitors center!) and an orange, and told ne that I was in for a real treat riding US from before Marenisco to Watersmeet. He was right!
US 2 - great riding: wide smooth shoulder, low traffic, pretty country
I stopped in Wakefield for dessert. I ordered pie al la mode, coffee, and water. I got pie with dreamwhip, one cup of coffee and no water. I didn't leave a tip. I made sure all three of my water bottles were full since it is over forty miles to the next services in Watersmeet. I emptied all three bottles on that section, but, if I had hydrated well before leaving Wakefield, I wouldn't have needed as much water on that part of the ride. In retrospect, I should have gone to another restaurant with better service and had more coffee and water before I left town.
I stopped twice to snack alongside the road and rode into Watersmeet hoping there would be a good place to eat. There was and I had my second meal of the day 80 miles into the ride.
Riding in the lane after Watersmeet
Shortly before Watersmeet the smooth road went away, replaced by a decent, but bumpy, road with a shoulder that was bumpier. Traffic was so light that I rode in the lane 99% of the time. Even that was bumpy and my butt suffered as did some stuff on my bicycle. I had been carrying a can of WD-40 and a roll of paper towels in a bag I got in Edmonton. About fifteen miles before Iron River, or halfway through this bumpy section, on a major bump, the WD-40 can came through the bag and ended up resting against my rear spokes. No harm done, but I had grown found of that bag.
My Michigan map showed a town, Beechwood, about ten miles before Iron River. I figured I'd stop there, phone Dick, and he could meet me on the road between the towns. Well, that town doesn't exist, so I had to push my very tired body on into Iron River. There is a big hill just west of Iron River and, as I climbed that hill, I picked up head winds that lasted for the rest of the ride. When I finally made it into town, I stopped at the Mobilmart, called The Other Boyd Tourist Extraction Service' - that is what Dick said on the answering machine - and waited for Dick to pick me and my bike up. He claims I was asleep when he got there some 45 minutes later. Let's just say I didn't notice his truck pull up in front of me...