Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 48 Saturday 8-22 Baraga to Marquette, MI

Day 48 Saturday 8-22
Baraga to Marquette, MI
73 Miles
2232 total miles

I left Baraga around noon, after packing nearly every object back into my bags after collecting them from all over the room where they were spread out drying. Baraga is at the base of the Keewenah peninsula at the bottom of a very sheltered bay which gives it a great sheltered position on Lake Superior. Its neighbor , L'Anse, is home to a ceiling tile factory and a big hill climb up and away from the lake. I was shocked as II read the road signs leaving town that it was 71 miles to Marquette. I had been told by some automobile assisted locals that the distance was 50 miles. This was going to seriously impact on my schedule for the day. No dallying around now, as I had to make some serious distance in the daylight that remained. The ride took me through some of the highest terrain in Michigan, past the high-ground "peaks" which range 1800-1900 ft above sea level (about 1200 ft above lake level)... There were lots of uphills and downhills, more uphills for the first 40 miles and lots of uninterrupted trees. About 30 miles into the ride I stopped at the Cozy Bar where I had a late lunch and worked the remainder of the afternoon digesting the gut-bomb I ingested. Nice people at the bar who helped me out with some local knowledge on the road construction zone ahead, which I was able to navigate without much trouble after their advice. In Ishpeming, 15 miles west of Marquette, I stopped briefly at the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, which was closed for the day and at the Jasper Ridge Brew pub where they poured me a great brown ale, which was just enough to give me the courage to ride the remaing distance into Marquette. The temps are cool, in the mid- 50's, but the sun finally made an appearance at the end of the day and should be around for all of tomorrow if we can believe the forecast. The last 10 miles of the ride into Marquette were almost all a gradual downhill down to the lake. I rode past the Northern Michigan University campus on my way into town on Wright Street, where all the students have returned for the academic year. My host is away for the evening, but her mother is home and was a gracious reception committee along with her 2 dogs and cat. After the best combination of soap, hot water and applied friction, I felt somewhat rejuvenated, but hungry, nevertheless, and was directed to go downtown to find a place to eat. Marquette has an established "oldtown" which consists of the waterfront area and a few business blocks. The buildings are late 1800's/early 1900's, mostly stone and well maintained for the most part. There are a coule of pubs worth visiting: the Northland Pub at the Landmark Inn which has a later-night kitchen open until midnight. And The Vierling, whose kitchen closes at 10, but which brews its own beer and is an establishment in its own right, having been in its present location sicne 1883.

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