Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cycling in Michigan`s Upper Peninsula

Hello and Welcome,
I had a wonderful time this past week vacationing in the Munising area of Michigan`s Upper peninsula. The cabin (rental) is located in the Hiawatha National Forest about 8 miles south of Shingleton Mi. Here is the view from the deck.
Thanks to my brother-in-law for swapping vehicles with my wife and I for the week. The Mercury mini-van has a Reese-hitch which was a perfect fit for my old bicycle rack. And plenty of room in the van for my wife and son and myself and all "the stuff" we brought with us.
That`s me heading out for my morning ride. Morning temps were typically in the low 40`s F. And that`s fine with me, as it keeps the bugs from being to active. The Mosquito(S) own the UP. This was not a surprise to me as I am a native Mich-i-gander and have visited the U.P. many times. But thankfully there were no black flies and the Mosquito population was not in full bloom yet. But if you go to the north woods of Michigan in the summer (or any other time of year) be prepared.
I found this sign is on the gravel road (Old 94) that leads to the paved road. I did not see any logging trucks on our road. But I did see "more than a few" on the main road (highway). When A truck loaded with fresh cut cedar would pass me on the main road, I must admit it did smell really good. I hope they are cutting responsibly and doing the necessary re-planting.
I did ride up this logging road to get a quick look at what logging does to the local environment. It appears that they leave the trees that are not yet thick enough to be harvested and re-plant saplings when finished. I hope they also re-plant on the temporary roads when finished with the harvest.
This waterfall is the only one we viewed that is on private property. It is at the end of a paved road in a sub-division. I thought that was rather odd. We did pay a few dollars to walk the well maintained path and view the falls. They did have a nice gift shop as well. Everybody has to make a living I guess. If you were to stay in Munising many of the falls and other sites would be within a reasonable (bicycle) riding distance. We drove to all our day trips.
*The following is copied from the Grand Island National Recreation Area site*
"Grand Island National Recreation Area Hiking & Mountain Biking Old woods, roads and trails run the perimeter of Grand Island offering many miles of hiking and biking to the most spectacular views one will find anywhere in the Upper Midwest. There are several rustic campsites on the island, and white sand beaches that will thrill the visitor."
UPDATE: I just checked and you can bring your bike on the ferry for an additional $5.00 I copied the following from their site "Prices are $15/adult $10/child 6-12 years; free for children under 6; and $5/bicycle".
We did not get a chance to visit the island. But we will definitely make it there next trip. Below: A lighthouse I photographed from the deck of the glass-bottom Ship-wreck tour boat. I thought the ship-wreck tour was great. my wife thought it was ok...... ?
Below: This picture of Castle Rock was taken from shore. Originally there were two turrets but one eventually crumbled and fell into the lake. We did take the Picture Rock Boat tour. We were roasting on the pier waiting to board and freezing on the bay. My advise "dress for everything" especially in the spring.
Below: I don`t recall seeing this type of Moth before. Left click on the pic to see it enlarged. After image searching "Green Moth" It would appear they are not at all rare. And there appears to be several variations.
Below: My batteries died the day we took the Picture Rocks Bout Tour. They are actually very beautiful. Unfortunately this is the only pic I have until my son forwards me some of the beautiful pics he took.I will update this with a better pic at some point.
We did not see any Bears in the wild, and I knew my wife would love to see some. And I absolutely refuse to view Bears at the dump (land-fill). So when I heard on the radio that Oswald Bear Ranch (near Newberry ) had cubs, I could not resist. We had some pics taken playing with one of the cubs. But due to privacy concerns I will not be posting them until after my son does some photo-shop work on them.
Below: Another of the "about a dozen" waterfalls we viewed on our trip. This was one of my favorites.
That`s me checking out one of the many rock formations in the area. Some of the tourists (or locals) have actually carved their names into the sand stone walls in this area. I did not see it at any of the other locations though.
Well that`s about it for my vacation. To those who have sent their best wishes for my speedy recovery, I Thank You. My left eye is recovering nicely and I am almost finished with the steroids. I actually did a little bike hunting today. And I will be doing some work on the Parliament this week. Although I have promised my wife and doctors to take it easy for a while. I do have a "quick flip"
bike I might do this week. Mostly because it wont be too demanding. Today I purchased a "Huffy Le-Grande". Talk about two words that don`t go together..lol
Like "Yugo Continental" or "Escort GT" Anyway I think I`m going to see how cheap we can make the Huffy into something functional and hopefully decent looking.
Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh


  1. That is beautiful country up there. You are right about the bugs. But I'll take mosquitoes and yes, even deer flies, over black flies any day.

    If you were on the National Forest, then you can bet that land is well managed. Each and every national forest has a very detailed management plan developed with the public for the management of all natural resources on the forest. They take a lot of time and energy to prepare, and are amended, re-published, amended, re-published with a great deal of public interaction - every 5 years.

    While the effects after logging may not look so good, all timber sales are the result of a prescription which looks at the site potential, age and state of maturity, structure, regeneration - whether natural or planted seedlings, wildlife impacts, natural heritage (rare plants and/or animals), and cultural values. Our national (and state and county) forests truly are national treasures and they are treated as such by dedicated natural resource professionals.

    I hope your eye makes a full and quick recovery. I can't wait to see what projects you come up with next.


  2. Hey Bill,
    Thanks for the informative comments. It is good to know our forests are in good hands.And it is also good to know these dedicated folks take their work very seriously. Also Thanks for the "well wishes" My eye is recovering nicely. I am hoping to get some "bike work" done tomorrow between Dr appointments. If not for sure on Friday.

  3. Hi Hugh, I enjoy reading your blog and like looking at your work. I was at a friends house in Tenn. this weekend and he has a Centurion bicycle in his shed that hasn't seen the light of day in 20 years. He said he purchased it in the 70's. It looks in good shape considering. Is is worth restoring? If so, would you be interested? I wasn't sure how to contact you so sorry if this is the wrong forum.


    1. Thanks Don,
      Unfortunately due to all the remodeling I am way behind on my projects and wont be taking any outside work (restorations) until spring. You might want to Google the model name of the bike and see what comes up. You can also check oldtenspeedgallery.com and see if any have been posted there. If you want it done next spring leave a comment with you e mail (I won't publish it) and I will get in touch. But without a specific model name it is impossible to speculate. And it is necessary to inspect the bike in person
      before I can make a recommendation.
      Cheers, Hugh


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