Manistique, MI

July 7, 2010 8:35 am.

Woke up at 6:36 am. Eastern Daylight Time. Ugh. There were coffee, Sunny D, and donuts in the lobby. Not great, but as the large room was $53, I couldn’t complain. After checking out, we went to the Wal-Mart across the street to get more Eucerin Calming Creme for Elliot. The prices were the same as San Jose Target.


The Dali-esque bike between ours is probably the result of an accident.

We went to the Arby’s right next door for lunch. The dark specks on the wall are Caddis flies, as in the inset. Those things are all over the place. Now I know why fly fishing lures look the way they do!


The last thing to do before leaving town was to fill my rear tire to pressure. My little hand pump can put in 40 PSI or so, if I strain, but not much more. Perhaps that was the reason I was getting so many flats – I would hit more rocks and potholes before I could reach a gas station to get the tire fully inflated. The first gas station we went to had no air, and the second charged $1.00 (a full dollar, not even 50ยข)! It would be a bargain compared to another flat. The pump only started when I put in the money; there was no storage tank on the compressor. It was not a high pressure compressor, and I think it only got my tire up to 80 PSI, but that was better.

July 7, 2010 11:43 pm

We saw Lake Michigan for the first time. Well, at least some bays on Lake Michigan. The waterfront is dotted with motels and resorts, with a typical lake view of cattails like below.


The day was hot and humid. Elliot said it was our hottest day. Nevertheless, the route was flat, and we screamed down the highway with a tailwind. At 2 pm, we stopped at a store near Rapid River, and got some Stewart’s Pop. I’m told this brand is local to Michigan. (Julie – is that true?) Remembering the savory pasty that I had the other day, I bought a hot pasty from this store to take on the road. There was also Elk jerky (venison) for sale, so I bought a package.


90 minutes later, we reached St. Jacques’ Grocery, at the top of a little rise. We got some cool drinks again, and I broke the pasty into two pieces for us to eat. It was bland to slightly sour – not nearly as good as the bakery one. We took our time on the bench. I went in for a final visit to the bathroom, and when I came out, I saw a young woman in cycling clothes outside. No, it was two young women.


Evan (L) and Elizabeth (R)

Evan was a middle school teacher from Milwaukee, and Elizabeth was from Chicago. The two had been friends since their college days at UW Madison, and were going around the lake. Elizabeth asked about campgrounds ahead, and I told her about what I remembered seeing on the way in. They did not plan to go all the way to Escanaba that day, and it seemed like Rapid River, 13 miles away, would be their best bet. Both of them seemed surprised that we were thinking of going all the way to Manistique by evening.

I gave them our cards, and we took each other’s pictures. When Elliot and I were posing, Elizabeth and Evan each snapped their cameras at exactly the same time, and said “Perfect!” in unison. That’s how in-sync the two were.

Evan said they had a headwind coming in, but it would be a tailwind for us. If you asked me, they were going in the wrong direction around the lake. Our tailwind out of Escanaba would be a killer for them. I shouldn’t pity them, though. Healthy, strong, young and beautiful, they have everything going for them.

We reached Manistique at about 7 pm. Elliot was feeling a little nauseous, and I must admit, I had a little cramping in my stomach. It could have been the pasty. I thought it tasted a little weird. Rather than hunt for a deal among the 3 motels in the area, I stopped at the first one we could find – the Comfort Inn. It was $89 after discount, but it was a medical emergency. We felt much better after a couple hours, and went to dinner at the Bob’s Big Boy next door.


The tiny Comfort Inn sign is in the distance, taking second billing to Bob's Big Boy.

In the restaurant, there was a family sitting in the booth next to us. The mother liked my “I will fear no evil Sudoku” shirt; she was an avid fan. She said her sister worked at Barnes and Noble, so could find her all the good Sudoku books. She had a 25-foot long continuous interlocking sudoku puzzle at home, and after a month, was on the verge of finishing it.

The hotel had no pool, but did have a Hot Jacuzzi. This seems to be a common theme here, no pool. I have no idea why. We didn’t want to try the Jacuzzi. There had been enough heat and humidity in the regular day.

No flats today, and no rain, either. We did 59.4 miles.

p.s. Kendra and Mona made remarks about tans…




  1. Mona Schorow says:

    Wow, your tans look spray painted on — coffee on white! When you started, you were probably generally all one color.

    You really don’t like carrying any unnecessary weight, and it looks like you’ve lost any body fat you may’ve had. Even your arms are tighter! Congratulations on your continued success. You guys are so awesome!


  2. AuFamily-KCCRN says:

    Wow, what an impressive ride thus far! And where are you ending up again? Hey, I thought motel prices might be a little cheaper out in the MidWest but I guess corporate rates are the same everywhere. Those flies on the wall look pretty huge. Wouldn’t want one of those between my teeth! Love reading all the stories!

    • roderick says:

      Hi, I assume that’s Cindy typing…

      We’re halfway!

      The Caddis Flies aren’t any trouble at all; they don’t fly in the air. They just seem to sit on walls all day long. The black flies are another matter, though. I think they must have some kind of venom, or else they carry germs in their bite. The bite I got early in this trip is still not fully healed. I hope it didn’t lay eggs in me.

  3. Kendra says:

    Stewart’s is actually all over the place at home, too. We just never buy it.

  4. Mona Schorow says:

    The keyhole on the back of your hands is merit badge of cycling; you’re branded as an experienced, and avid cyclist.

  5. Jethro Chan says:

    I thought my tans were extreme with only 100 miles of riding a week… You guys have suntan lotion that you apply every 2 hrs? Good “tatoos” you folks will be brining back to the Bay Area!

    Tailwinds and good tires to you guys!