This day started off early and everything was dry from the night before thanks to the cabin that was so generously offered. I woke up with two deer outside of my window eating the grass around my cabin. When I was all packed and had the cabin cleaned up I rode up the hill into the village of Crystal Falls to find some breakfast. I found a pizza shop/bar that was open at 8am in the morning and went in to see if they served breakfast. There was one combination on the breakfast menu - eggs/bacon/hash-browns/toast/coffee - I said great - I'll take it. The owner was preparing his shop for the day and doing some of his paperwork while he made my breakfast. The TV show "House" was on and we both had a couple of chuckles from the dry humor of the show. Then I was on my way to Marquette which was about 75 miles up the road. The wind was okay this day and I made good time. At Ishpeming I saw the world's biggest working chainsaw and then managed to connect with Ryan's (my cousin's), girlfriend's dad, Tom. Tom was going to be busy at work until about 5pm and I arrived a couple hours early so I just toured around town a bit and then ended up at the local coffee shop where I caught up on some email and web updates and had a couple of hoe. Then Tom called me and I met him at his house where he checked to make sure I was Canadian by offering me a beer - a quick affirmative response to the offer confirmed my Canadian authenticity. Shortly after his wife Deborah came home and we went out for dinner at the local Irish pub. Tom and Deborah looked right after me this night.
Friday July 16th - Marquette to Newberry
The next morning I woke to say goodbye and thank Tom for his hospitality. I didn't get to see Deborah before she left for work. Then I got all packed up and rode over to the post office to pick up the new camera that Roger and Burnie shipped me from Minneapolis. I was on the road by 10:30. This day was supposed to be a rest day, but since I didn't know anyone else in Marquette I decided to move on. I was getting bored with myself and the randomness of the thoughts rolling around in my head so I set a goal of 100 miles for the day and rode until I got there. I stopped at a KOA campsite and found their $31 campsite fee (without power) to be extremely expensive - considering all I was going to do was set up my tent and go to sleep, and also considering that I've been paying between $0 and $10 for campsites since Saskatchewan.
Saturday July 17th - Newberry to Brimley
I just about woke up to being baked in my tent. The sun was shining and my tent was starting to get really warm. Now that I was a full two days ahead of my schedule - due to not taking a rest day and riding 100 extra miles and still feeling a little bored by myself - I decided to take a little detour to Paradise. Paradise is a little town on the south shore of Lake Superior about 50 miles from Sault St. Marie. Hey, if you had an opportunity to go to Paradise, wouldn't you go too? It was an extra 40+ miles out of the way, but I got some pictures of the falls at Tahquamenon, met Don and Chris from Indianapolis who are riding a tandem bike on a several day tour and then stopped at a little restaurant in Paradise. The restaurant was packed and there was a couple who offered me a place a their table. We started talking and I learned that the woman's brother's ex-wife has Huntington's disease. I told them about my ride and shared about the guy I met who's walking across the continent (Toyota Walkimori). They left before I did but paid for my lunch. I didn't even get their names. Thanks for lunch wonderful couple? Moving on now from Paradise I was aiming now to get to the campsite at Monocle. During this part of the ride I got a call from a woman named Debbie who lives in Sault St Marie and who's husband recently passed away from Huntington's disease. We agreed to meet at Monocle at 6pm. During my ride to Monocle I stopped several times to pick and eat raspberries at the side of the road, took a swim in Lake Superior and met a guy named Don with his family. He offered me a towel to dry my feet off and get rid of the sand so I could put my bike shoes back on. Oh, and I also stopped at the Iroquois Point Lighthouse and spoke to a couple from Minneapolis touring on their motorcycle. I also spoke to the care taker of the lighthouse - he was living his dream. Finally, I made it to Monocle and found the campsite to be full. At the same time I connected with Debbie who wanted to buy my dinner and pay for my campsite. We decided that I would ride to the next town where there's a state park and then go for dinner. She shared with me a lot of the things she experienced with her husband's Huntington's disease - some funny stories, some sad stories, and some unbelievable stories. This is a great and strong woman.
Now I'm in my tent about to fall asleep with a full stomach. Tomorrow I will meet up again with Megan, who I met, riding with her dad, back in Manitoba.