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    Upper Peninsula Michigan

    September 1, 2016

    Following a warm chai and a morning chat with Carrie, I left Tomahawk just after 9 a.m. 

     

    I headed back on 8 East towards Norway, Michigan.

     

    The route was pretty much a straight shot into the area albeit with a few twists and turns and brief navigation along 141 north and 2 (which runs east and west). 

     

    Riding along 8 looked much like what I had seen in Wisconsin and some parts of Minnesota. 

     

    Rows and rows of large trees (some the holiday variety).

     

    Small towns with gas stations.

     

    Wildflowers blending with cattails.

     

    And the occasional lake.

     

    I did hit some sprinkles along the way.  Based on the perilous clouds surrounding me, I was lucky that sprinkles were all I experienced.

     

    While riding, I also saw signs for the Menominee River.

     

    That particular river separates Wisconsin from the upper part of Michigan that is not attached to the rest of the state -- the part I like to call the mitten.

     

    Time zones also change in this area from Central to Eastern. 

     

    While the lower part of upper Michigan is Central, the northern part of upper Michigan is Eastern. 

    As you approach Norway, a viking ship and of course, a viking, welcome you to the small town (with a population hovering around 3000).

     

    There's not much to Norway, a few shops, restaurants, and bars.  You could walk Main Street in under 10-minutes. 

     

    I met my airbnb host, Aileen, at her clinic just after 1 p.m.  (Both she and her husband are local optometrists.)

     

    She was kind enough to drive me to the little remote cabin where I would be staying.

     

    Her place was just what I sought: a quiet sanctuary.

     

    The views from her open floor plan cabin swept across a large valley.

     

     

    Aileen showed me around her place.

     

    She had muffins, chocolate, water, and a trucker cap waiting for me. 

    (The pink cap with a glitter bill had the words "Yooper Girl" on it.)

     

    Yooper's origins stem from U.P.  (Upper Peninsula).  Many more connotations are associated with yoopers -- they are resilient and hard-working folk who can handle loooooong winters.  I suppose I'm an unofficial yooper now. 

     

    When I unloaded my gear, Aileen asked if I wanted to have dinner with her family (over the weekend) and perhaps join them for some boating. 

     

    Of course, I agreed. 

     

    We left the cabin under clear, blue skies, and she demonstrated a different way (a shorter route) to exit her property.  Knowing I needed to write and upload a post, she escorted me back on 2 West.

     

    I took the route into downtown Iron Mountain (less than 10-miles away from Norway). 

     

    Once you start slowing down to about 30 mph, you see signs for the Dickinson County Library.  I took a lucky right and found the building on the left.

     

    When I finished the post, I headed over to the grocery store (Super 1 Foods) to pick up fixings for dinner (brats, brussels, and potatoes).  I also purchased some boxed cabernet.

     

    Nothing like... enjoying a glass of wine with my new view.

     

    I drove back to the cabin, and opened all the sliding glass doors (but kept the screen on), so I could listen to nature while I prepared my meal.

     

    During my feast on a long indoor picnic-style table, I witnessed a herd of deer scaling a fence. 

     

    I watched as a doe watched the young ones vaulting across one at a time.  A little one lunged forward, then got nervous, and backed up before attempting to jump a second time.

     

    What a sight to behold on my first evening! 

     

    After dinner, the sun disappeared and the blue skies softened into a tender night. 

     

    When I retired, all was tranquil save for the sounds of insects.

     

    My only subtle regret?

     

    Not having someone special with whom to share this glorious peacefulness.

    Until we meet again, my friend. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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