7/23/2021 – Haugen to Ghost Lake, WI

75.84 Miles / 2295.64 Total Miles

2730 Ft. Elevation Gain / 79,483 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

In 2015, I spent 5 weeks in Italy, and within a couple of weeks, I had seen so many statues and cathedrals, that I couldn’t be impressed by yet another of them. I had become numb to them. Has that ever happened to you? I mention this, because it’s happening to me on this ride. I have become numb to crops and lakes and forests. There might not be more photos of them going forward, even though I see them all day, every day. They may just be in the background of other things I take a picture of, so it will be up to you to notice. Is laziness setting in? I hope not.

After enjoying a restful night, on a real bed, in that little KOA cabin, and a real sink to brush our teeth at, in the morning, we hopped on our steeds at 7:20 AM and bid Shady Rest Campground adieu. We decided that the guy who owns the place does a lot of what he does just to be good to people, and we really appreciated his goodness to us.

Just a few miles down the road, we ran into this herd of Bison. If only they had been this easy to find and see at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The fence keeping them contained looked pretty flimsy, so I am hoping it was an electric fence, and that electric fences work on gigantic ultra furry creatures, like bison.

Once we ran into this sign, we were on the lookout for Amish horse drawn buggies, but we never saw one. I didn’t mention it, but we saw one going down the road, yesterday, and cars were blasting past it a high speed, which I thought was pretty thoughtless. Horses can really get spooked by things racing up behind them. I know what it feels like. I get spooked too. Frequently.

We cycled past miles and miles of resort cabins and lodges along the shores of Lake Chetac, Sand Lake, Lac Courte Oreilles and Grindstone Lake This would be a great place for an extended family vacation, if these places aren’t booked up years in advance. I especially liked the sign for the Red School Resort.

It looks like Wisconsin folk believe in Yetis, because look what is starting to crop up again. We didn’t see them in North Dakota or Minnesota. I haven’t met any experts yet, but if I do, I’ll keep you posted.

We had very few places on our route, today, where food or beverages were available, so when we came up on this one, my heart lept a little. The guy who owns this store lives here and keeps it open year round. Apparently, enough snowmobilers come to town, in the winter, to keep him in business.

The mailbox of the day.

We learned a bit about the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Indian Tribe, as we passed through their reservation. Many of them were converted to Catholicism, back in the 1860s, by Catholic Priests who offered them mass. They built a log church that burned down and was replaced by the pipestone church below.

They serve in the military and honour their veterans. Their memorial is really REALLY nice.

While on the Ojibwe reservation, we stopped at a grocery store, to pick up some food for lunch and restock a few items. Parked out front were a couple of loaded touring bikes, so an encounter with other cyclists was inevitable. In the store, we met two college aged fellas who are cycling from Washington D.C. to Minneapolis. They rode out of D.C. on the C&O Canal and Greater Allegany Passage trails, then used RideWithGPS to route them up to what is known as the Northern Peninsula (of Michigan), where they toured Makinac Island, then crossed over into Wisconsin. They’re definitely having an adventure.

We passed into, through and back out of the Chequamegon National Forest. It was very similar to forests on the Olympic Peninsula, with their lush foliage, tall trees and fern.

The 4.5 mile “Rustic Road” we rode on at the very end of our day, reminded me of the difficulties of the day. It was hot and humid from the moment we got on our bikes, and both the heat and humidity increased as the day wore on. And now we were being beat up by torn up pavement. This particular Rustic Road informed me of what a Rustic Road is. It is a paved road that no one has the funds or time to repair, so they put a cool sign on it, to make it look like they intend it to be rustic. Occasionally, there was a fresh patch of asphalt, on a section of pavement that looked like someone dropped a bomb on. I couldn’t figure out what they were trying to accomplish, with their little bitty patches, when the entire section of pavement was completely deteriorated and impassible, but maybe they have to use that asphalt or lose it;

A couple of miles after surviving the beating from the rustic road, we arrived at our campground. Surrounded by large camp trailers and RVs, we had a nice quiet spot with every thing we needed, except wifi, of course. After showering, we headed over to the lodge to get dinner and to hopefully find a place to set up blog central.

This was Friday night, so the place was packed with people who had come from miles away to enjoy a night out with food, drinks, music and friends. I ordered up some fish tacos, and they were scrumtious. Sadly, blog central was not going to happen, because the wifi didn’t work in the lodge. The owner told me that there are 3 large boulders, near the office, where you can get wifi, and I meant to head over there after dinner, but that’s when the live music started.

The female guitar player/vocalist sounded like a cross between Joni Mitchel, Melanie and Janice Joplin. She was really good. The lead singer, harmonica player and congo drummer was the owner of the resort, who had been wearing the bartender apron, up until he got his cue to take his place with the band. He was a talented performer too. I don’t get out to hear live music, very often, so I stuck around and enjoyed the moment.

When I finally headed over to the 3 boulders, I was able to access the wifi long enough to check my text messages and respond to one of them. End of wifi for the evening. Time to go to bed. Not being a quitter, I stuck around and hit my head against the wall for another 15 minutes, before completely throwing in the towel on the wifi.

The weather forecast had predicted rain during the night, so I closed everything up tight, before going to bed. Unfortunately, with every thing buttoned up, my tent was a sweat box. I was laying on top of my silk cocoon in my skivvies, sweating my brains out, so I opened the rain fly on both sides of my tent to let some air in. At 12:22 AM, a torrential downpour, thunder and lightening all hit at one time. Water was pouring in both sides of my rain fly, until I closed up those openings. The thunder and lightening kept me awake for about an hour, before I fell asleep again.

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