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Rant Log: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan

Day 25

July 7

Gilbert MN

Town Campground

176.9 km

7.33 hr

Av 23.0

Max 45.0

I headed out to the U.S. border. The guy asked a lot of questions but let me through. I asked if any other cyclists came through yet. No one has, so I guess I am ahead of Melissa. I looked back over the long stretches but did not see her.

Manitoba gets a bad rap for bugs. They were bad, but the sand flies of North Minnesota were the worst I've seen. The buzz around me all day and would bite as soon as my legs stopped spinning. This means no rest for long periods. Also there were green ticks. They scare me because I know they bury under the skin. They did not do that to me but they were crawling on me. The bugs were a little better in Gilbert. So far Hw 53 is very good. Large shoulder and few trucks, but sometimes it is bumpy.

I came into Virginia, a large town of 20,000 and no campgrounds. I got directions to a bike path taking my to Gilbert a town with a campground. The bike path was impressive, it goes by a big quarry or canyon. I was really amazed by this bike path that I lucked out in finding.

The showers were broken. Apparently they will give a good electric shock if you use them. This campground cost 10$ Us too. I guess tomorrow I can stink a little more than usual.

I chatted with an old texas couple, Dean and Bea at their RV. Actually they did most the talking. They talked about working in Indonesia.

The bugs are bothering me now that that's it for this log.

18 subs.

Day 26

July 8

Brule WS

Motel + Campground (Camping)

165.5 km

6.56 hr

Av 23.8

Max 55.0

Got going without my shower. Since I took a bike path to Gilbert I was totally disoriented. I got directions to Hw 53 which was the opposite way my guess was.

The shoulder of 53 stayed but it was incredibly bumpy. My bike was going ba-boom ba-boom for hours. Coming into Duluth I got a sub, groceries and a Dairy Queen blizzard. They had the Nerd flavour which excited me, because it was discontinued in Canada.

The walls of these gas stations are covered in hundreds of moths. Just resting the bike against the wall squishes a bunch. In a gas station washroom I noticed a moth sitting on my shoulder. That seems to happen a lot. People pointing out a large crawling on me. Oh well, moths don't bite so I don't really care.

It was hot today... and it was hot yesterday. I guess I am never happy with the weather. In hindsight I realize the cool days I had in the mountains were great... but it was still too cold in Calgary!

Coming into Duluth was lots of construction. There was also a Hardee's burning to the ground. I tried to get a picture but there was too much smoke.

In Duluth it took sometime to figure out how to cross to Superior. Hw 53 eventually turns into an interstate Hw which bikes are restricted from. I got directions to a second bridge that has a sidewalk. It was a very large bridge, maybe the biggest on the trip.

Now I am in Wisconsin. The road Hw 2 was turned red. I am guessing it is partially made of brick. The shoulder is narrower but smoother than Hw 53. I can't believe Hw 53 did not give me a flat tire. Good tires are worth every penny.

Campgrounds are harder to find in the US but I found one in Brule behind the Motel. Some kids drove by and called me an A-hole and some old man honked at me angrily today.

In Wisconsin a few kilometer ahead of me was a bad car accident. Lots of police cars. The car being towed away was demolished. Later the tow truck passed me as it was dragging the car, scraping along with it's flat wobbly tires.

I've had good winds the last 2 days but since I have not had a rest day since Kelowna BC my legs can't get into the 200's anymore. Still I am making food time. I will be in Michigan tomorrow and maybe Sault Ste Marie the next?

I've decided that Provincial/State campgrounds suck. I have never stayed at one because they are often many kilometers off the highway. I like the private campgrounds just off the road with showers. Camping doesn't seem too popular around here. I am the only one tenting.

I passed the grossest dead deer yet. This one was covered in a cloud of flies.

19 subs.

Day 27

July 9

Wakefield MI

Sunday Lake Campground

141.5 km

6.00 hr

Av 23.5

Max 46.0

I think the states will take longer than I thought. It looks so small from the map. Well I am barely into Michigan. I called it quits a little early since I did not know when the next campground would be.

Here at Wakefield I will get off of Hw 2 and go on Hw 28.

Today was hot even though it was clouded over and rained in the morning.

Not a lot happened today. I ate at subway at Ashland. I ate at subway again at Ironwood. I ate a lot of food today.

I will cross a time zone soon but I am not sure where. I'm just going to set it now.

I had a dream last night, that I was done my trip but that I had quit in Wisconsin. I was angry at myself for not finishing.

I met 2 other touring cyclists at a campground before this one. Russel and Peggy did not know each other originally but have traveled together since Manitoba. That campground cost 16$ US! So I said good-bye and went to this campground. I was warned it is filled with party animals, but so far it is mostly children. This one cost 5.00$. The soil is rather crappy and stoney but the price was better.

This area is kind of hilly but not as much as the beginning of Hw 71 in Ontario.

Day 28

July 10

Marquette MI

Tourist Park Campground

224.7 km

9.05 hr

Av 24.7

Max 50.0

I wasn't very happy today. I realized last night I have 300 miles to Sault Ste Marie. Three hard days of 100 miles a day. Who would think that lake Superior is so big? It is six days big.

Last night some 14 year old kids were chatting with me. The one boy goes in and out of juvenile hall. The other just broke up with his 13 year old girlfriend. She was threatening suicide and she has tried it before. That bothered me that some one so young would do something like that... and for a boyfriend? silly kids

Today was a bad wind day. It started as a blustery tailwind but it changed direction so often it was useless. As soon as I could gather speed it would hit me with a headwind and slow me back down. It finally decided on a crosswind from the North except for a good 20 km stretch of tailwind. The air is cooler which probably means rain tonight.

Today I didn't mind if a truck buzzed me. It would be like a nitro boost. One truck got me from 19 km/h to 31 km/h.

It felt like mostly downhill to Lake Superior at Marquette today. Of course I did not want to go that far today. At 159 km I passed a campground at Michigamma. I wanted a 170 day so I continued. I got to two major towns: Ishpeming and Negaunee. One was on a pretty lake, but neither had a campground. I had to go to Marquette and go 10 km of the Highway. It was also kind of hard to find. Worst yet, it had no tenting sites left so I had to buy a 16$ sandy ant filled electric site. I was too exhausted from a windy day to go somewhere else.

I was warned it is supposed to be really cold tonight. I highly doubt it will actually be cold, it'll probably just be cool which will be nice.

Two more days to Sault Ste Marie(the Soo!).

Day 29

July 11

Newberry MI

KOA Campground

178.4 km

7.16 hr

Av 24.6

Max 55.0

Last night was one of the worst on this trip. Somehow every inch of my body was itching like crazy. I'm not sure if it is mosquito bites or something else. I covered myself all over in "After-bite" stuff. That helped a little but I was still up until 2:30 AM in itching agony. I am still itching today, particularly my feet. I have found a bunch of mosquito bites but not enough to explain my itchiness. I bought some Lanicane to see if it works any better.

Well today's conditions were pretty good. A cool wind that was often tailwind.

Outside of Marquette Hw 28 goes along Lake Superior. It was nice to feel the cool air of the lake on me. I came into Munising, I had a sub and clogged a bathroom toilet.

Outside Munising there was a 40 km stretch that was flat and made no turns. I felt like I was in the prairies again, but this time with some trees.

I went through Christmas MI, where all the street names are derivatives of St. Nick's name. Whoever designed that town has serious serious issues.

I came into Newberry. I have completed today's 100 miles. I had a sub at a subway which was part of a gas station. I still find it weird that you can buy beer anywhere, gas station or grocery store. Some of these tiny towns have nothing but a bar.

The campgrounds at Newberry was full but I can camp in the overflow area for cheaper, 6$. They gave me a KOA goodie bag. It had some campfire flavour rocks and some BBQ sauce. A lot of god that does me. There was a sleeping pill which was tempting because I am still itchy but I have never used on of those things before and am worried of the side effects.

A 60 mile trip tomorrow to the Sault Ste Marie and back to Canada! I may take a rest day there.. who knows. I haven't had one since Kelwona BC.

21 subs.

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