Day 102

Friday, July 24, 2009 Dense clouds, cold morning warm afternoon
- Start: Ashland, WI
- ATW: Odanah, Birch, Cedar, Saxon, Ironwood, Ramsay
- End: Wakefield, MI
- Day Miles: Ride Time: Total Trip Miles:

Last night we finally decided to switch out the rear tire for the spare as the tread was pealing off the built in tire liner. Before leaving town we stopped in at the bike shop for a replacement but they didn't have anything close to what we needed. We'd just roll until we could find another one.

Also last night before we went to the park we met a guy whose eyes popped when we said we'd be riding 2 east toward the U.P. "You have a 1/2 a mile up hill climb!" We would later learn it was called "Birch Hill" and while it might have been a half mile climb it wasn't bad because it was the only one around.

Crossing into Mighigan we tried to stop in Ironwood for a food restock and ice cream break but were directed to the east side of town to the grocery store. Once there we opted to ride a little more eastward in hopes of a relaxing spot to eat our meal. A few miles down the road we found a slopping grass hill embanking a Wal-Mart parking lot. We sat on the crab grass eating melted ice cream cups and toyed with the idea of stealth camping on the golf course across the street.

"We'd have to camp on the back nine if we expect to sleep in past 6:00 AM, tomorrow's Saturday and crazy people get up at dawn to play."

Just about the time we'd sat down to eat the sun gave way to a large black cloud and a cold fix was less appealing. Now that we were properly chilled the cloud decided to soak us. We tried to find an awning to wait out the rain but the fat drops ended quickly and we moved fast to warm back up.

Our ride took us into Wakefield. We rode around the small lake that the town surrounded and ate dinner at a covered picnic shelter. The park offered camping and we set up for the night. Tired of mosquitoes sneaking under the sleeping bag we bought a roll of 3'x7' fiberglass screening at a hardware store. We donned our ball caps and drapped the screen over our heads. The material gapped at places and it was a battle to keep it from sliding off the bag. We decided we'd have to sew it down to make it more effective. A few stings later we worked out a good enough set up for the night.