Day 78 St. Ignace to Sault Ste Marie Michigan - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2011

Day 78 St. Ignace to Sault Ste Marie Michigan

The Mackinac Bridge - thank goodness we are not cycling this one - it's five miles long!
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The voyageurs had a big influence in this area
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Our affair with Highway 2 is over! It started with the courtship as we chose it over I-90 during planning in April. Then it's stormy nature on Stevens Pass sent us into the arms of the Columbia River. There was a brief reconciliation at Havre, but muddy construction sent us to Saskatchewan early. Finally we got together again in Minnesota and had a happy ride on its broad shoulder until the bitter end at St. Ignace.
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First glimpse of Lake Huron
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Lake Huron at St Ignace
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Ferries to Macinac Island
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St. Ignace did not turn out to be a zoo at all. Admittedly we rolled in at 8a.m. on a Sunday morning, but the place was spacious, relatively uncrowded, and peaceful. Rather than lines of RVs butting each other for places in ferry lines, Interstate overpasses, and the like, we found a 'tastefully tacky' lakeside town. There are boardwalks, lighthouses, restaurants, coffee shops, t-shirt shops, and suchlike.

We had a mission in town, since Laurie had issued instructions that we were to bring back at least a couple of tacky t-shirts for the twins, weight and space in the BoBs notwithstanding. We waited for the shops to open by finding breakfast at Bentley's café. This has a New England exterior and a 50's interior. Our 'custard style' French toast was excellent.

The tacky t-shirt shops were by no means as numerous as at, for instance, Niagara Falls. Their prices were higher too. I guess that's the meaning of 'tasteful' tackiness.

Tastefully tacky St. Ignace
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St Ignace
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Our breakfast spot
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Inside Bently's
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The T-shirts. Note pirate theme for Amelia!
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Our t-shirt store
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We carried on past the remaining shops until, that is, we came to the last of the fudge shops. Dodie gave me the honour of choosing the flavour until I said Rocky Road. Apparently my choosing privileges do not extend that far. We got mocha - something.

Mocha chocolate fudge!
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Too big for the BoB - but just testing anyway
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Even more pasties in the U.P.
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We had long ago given up on any power bars or any other bars with chocolate because now that we are contending with heat and not cold, these bars just become a gooey mess. The selling point of the fudge was that it is heat resistant. That turned out to be true, although the test (and the fudge) did not last that long!

Heat on this day was really no joke. Despite the fact that St Ignace to Sault St Marie looks like a trip through a populated corridor, there was in fact almost no business of any type for 80 km. We had started with 6 bottles of water and were almost empty when we came to the only gas station. Here, the attendant though standing beside a bar sink refused to fill our bottles. He said we would have to buy water, though we could have as much ice as we wanted. Weird.

This siding is crooked on purpose - weird
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The next business was a pub. As we have noted before, there comes a time when no amount of drinking water will solve the problem of hot sunshine. That's when you need shade. A dark pub is the same as shade!

This place was a strange mix. First off most everyone in the place was smoking. Next, the clientele included all ages, from babies on up. It was truly a 'public' house, I guess. We braved the smoke to get the shade, and found that their burgers were actually very good. Friendly people too.

This pub helped save the day
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Liquor, babies, smokers ?
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Back on the road to Sault the heat and humidity continued.

Daleks getting ready to attack.
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Roadside colour
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When we reached the Soo Locks campground near downtown I put my head under a spigot, but with little effect. In the end, it took a long cool shower to bring any return to normal temperature.

Later in the night the heat/humidity resolved into a most vicious thunderstorm. The tent was repeatedly lit by bright flashes and the thunder cracks were deafening. The tent was pelted by wind and rain, while we hid under the sleeping bags. In the morning we found that leakage had not been too bad, yet much of our stuff is in the dryer right now (in the early morning).

First look at Sault St Marie
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Second look at Sault St Marie
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Today's ride: 96 km (60 miles)
Total: 4,785 km (2,971 miles)

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