Day Twenty-Two (May 25)

73 miles, Bergland (Michigan) to Three Lakes

The weather continues to hold...east winds, rain, and cold, plus of course a day of hill-climbing. When I awoke this morning, it was pouring down rain outside and the temperature was only 45F. Somehow, I managed to force myself out the door. Fortunately, the winds weren't as bad as I'd expected, so I managed to get on my way without too much early morning effort. Eventually it warmed up to about 55, and the rain went from steady to off-and-on. The sun even came out a couple of times, much to my surprise, but by this point I was too wet to really notice. I only stopped for one break, to grab a Gatorade and eat some fig bars, and spent the rest of the day crawling along at 8-10 miles per hour.

My goal from this point on (until the weather changes) is to manage 70 miles each day and be finished in sixteen more days. Any time I exceed 70, that buys me a few miles for another day when I fall short, either from lack of energy or no hotel close by. (So, after today I'm at +3 miles.)

Anyway, as I reached Three Lakes, which is really just a few houses, a tavern, and a couple of hotels for lake fishermen, I thought about continuing on to a town called Michigamme (pronounced Michigami, I found out later), as I'd seen a billboard for a hotel there. It was about 5 miles further, and I wouldn't mind a few bonus miles as credit. Then, directly ahead of me, a lightning bolt struck just beyond the next bend in the road. I saw the flash and heard the thunderclap instantly. Normally you count the seconds and use those to judge the distance by the speed of sound, but there was absolutely no delay. It must have hit literally within a few dozen yards of me.

At that point I got the distinct impression someone was trying to tell me not to go any further, so I pulled over to the hotel I was passing and got a room. A few minutes later a thunderstorm passed by, and I was glad to be off the road. I would only have been on the edge of it, but you just don't want to be on a bike when the lightning is flying.

Unfortunately, this leaves me in a position where my choices tomorrow are either go 46 miles to Marquette, or 84 miles to Munising. If I'd had those extra 5 miles, the longer stretch wouldn't seem so daunting. Well, there's always a chance I'll find someplace to stay in one of the tiny towns along the lake coast.

There's also another factor I need to worry about: it's Memorial Day Weekend. The chances always exist that I'll arrive in Munising and find no rooms available. Hopefully the lousy weather up here will keep most of the travelers away.