MUP (Michigan Upper Peninsula) Ride, 2011

Madonna and my sister and I went on a week-long bike tour in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last week. I’d never been there before- beautiful country! And a great ride and great company. Here’s a picture log-

Friday, July 15. Drive to St. Ignace, Michigan.

Here approaching the Mackinac Bridge. When it was constructed (1957-1959) it was the longest bridge ever built at 5 miles and is designed to sway 35 feet in either side-to-side direction to accommodate high winds.

Saturday, July 16. Ferry to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac bridge from the ferry
Unloading supplies onto horse-drawn trailors. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. Nor are bicycles or women in pants allowed in front of or into the Grand Hotel – we found out by trying and were quickly shooed away by a little woman in an apron who came out on the big porch to assess our intent.
Typical view from shore of Mackinac Island. The water is so clear and blue one imagines being in the Mediterranean.

Madonna and me on Mackinac Island.
Kayakers off Mackinac.

Sunday, July 17. Liz joins us. Ferry to Mackinac Island. Watch Women’s Soccer in the Driftwood Sports Bar, St. Ignace, big storm Sunday night.
Morning in St. Ignace with the waning moon over the Museum of Ojibwa Culture.
Liz on Mackinac
Liz and Madonna in the Driftwood Sports Bar, St. Ignace, watching women’s soccer.

Big thunderstorms on Sunday night before the first riding day, I wondered if we’d die before the ride ever started. The rain came in heavy sheets, the wind felt like it would collapse the tent, the lightning was very close. But everyone emerged unscathed in the morning, only a little sleepless, for the first day’s ride to DeTour Village.

Monday, July 18. St. Ignace to DeTour Village. 56 miles.

Heard Frank and lady from Honduras speaking Spanish at DeTour. HOT.
Madonna and Liz on the road to DeTour Village.
Typical view along the way. I was grateful not to have to stop when there were woods on both sides of the road- the mosquitoes woukld eat me alive!
Liz on the swings at DeTour school, where we camped.
DeTour campsite

Tuesday, July 19. DeTour Village to Sault St. Marie. 67 miles.
Liz and Madonna at General Store on way to Sault St. Marie
Camp in “the Soo.” Madonna and Frank. Frank is a paramedic and lawyer based in Chicago with LOTS of stories to tell. One is that he was called onto the Jerry Springer show to consult about the legalities of letting a man set himself on fire on the set (he didn’t). Frank had a bike with fenders (NOT a racing bike) and was a fast rider, always first to the campsite and first tent pitched. Then he’d often find a library and spend some time there.
the Sault bridge from camp

Wednesday, July 20. Stay in “the Soo.”  Lock tour. Lunch at Zorba’s Greek restaurant. Blessedly rainy and cool most of the day, then HOT.
sunrise at camp
Breakfast. Our average age was 56, ranging from 10 to 80! And I thought this was a young person’s sport! There were people with replacement hips and knees and ankles, no less. Mariette (next to Madonna) is a world traveller, mostly by herself. Will go to Ecuador next year.
Steel industry in Canada’s Sault St. Marie, still very active.
fishing off the lock pierLunch at Zorba’s, where a hot cup of coffee tasted good, but after that it got hot outside again.
Steel drums at city park. Kids from a high school performing, very well. The whole town came out to see them.

Thursday, July 21. Sault St. Marie to Paradise. 58 miles.
Sunrise, Sault. Breaking camp.
Liz, Michael, Jill at the Dancing Crane Coffee House
Point Iroquois Light Station
Madonna and Liz on a Lake Superior beach. Lake Superior is my favorite lake, also the deepest and coldest.
Liz and Jill picking up stones on Lake Superior
Madonna on Lake Superior
Liz and I take a swim in Lake Superior

Friday, July 22. Paradise to Newberry. 61 miles.
Whitefish Point Light Station
a typical, beautiful view this day
the road
Tahquamenon Upper Falls

Saturday, July 23. Newberry to St. Ignace, 62 miles.
Lake Michigan beach.
I didn’t stop much this last day because I was riding with these ladies (Rochelle, Sue, Linda, Kathy), all strong, fast riders, at a constant pace of 15-25 miles per hour, except for this one stop. We made the 61 miles in less than 4 hours.

Back to St. Ignace at about 11:30, then a shower and start the drive home again.

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4 Responses to MUP (Michigan Upper Peninsula) Ride, 2011

  1. Cammy says:

    Thanks, Vivia, for sharing your marvelous experience! Upper Michigan is a place I’ve always wanted to explore.

  2. Vivia says:

    ‘Tis my pleasure! Likewise I enjoy your posts and pictures about your part of the country out west- will visit some day!

  3. Jill says:

    Vivia, This is a wonderful set of pictures with commentary. Thanks so much for sharing them. It was a wonderful trip that I hope we can repeat. I really enjoyed sharing time with you and Liz. Thanks. Jill

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