I got up bright and early and made my way into Marquette. It’s amazing how different the miles seem to me when I’m close to civilization. It’s just so much more interesting when the scenery changes, the approach to Marquette was beautiful. I went 15 miles today, on the low end but nothing to sniff at, but because I was in a city, It almost feels like they don’t “count.” It’s Sunday so I have to wait till tomorrow to pick up my mail. I am anxious to get going.
I went to the library to figure out just what the hell my course will be. I’m actually approaching the point where I will have to deviate from the North Country Trail because it heads west into Wisconsin and I’m heading north up the Keweenaw Peninsula. I didn’t bother looking into the details before I left because I didn’t have time and didn’t know if I’d make it this far anyway. It’s exciting that the time has come.
Marquette is really beautiful, it’s a surprisingly large city with a college-town liberal feel. Nice restaurants and a very picturesque waterfront. I even like the look of the huge industrial “dry docks” out in the harbor.
I’ve been exploring and killing time around town. I fashioned an ice pack for my poor little shin out of a plastic bag, ice from a little restaurant, and duct tape. If the massive backpack wasn’t enough, it makes me look pretty “eccentric.” A woman approached me and asked me what was wrong with my leg, I told her I was just icing it, she asked if she could pray for me. “Well sure” I said, thinking “you can pray about whatever you want.” And she surprised me by kneeling down, putting her hand on the ice pack, and asking Jesus to heal my injury. I’ll admit that I was more open-minded to the Christian healing than I might otherwise be since I just accepted the Raki yesterday. I’ll take what I can get!
There are no campgrounds here in town and since I have to stay the night, I am looking for a place to crash. I went to Blackrocks bar, a cool hangout with live music, to see what I could sort out. The bartender asked about my bag and I told him I am on a very slow bar crawl (I think this is the 4th or 5th Michigan microbrewery I’ve been to on the trail). The bartender said that I could stay at his place if his wife said it was ok but also recommended a website for traveling bicyclist that I’d never heard about before: “Warm Showers.” Despite the creepy name, I checked out the site and it looked perfect. I contacted someone named “Jesse” in hopes that it was Marquette’s most eligible bachelor but, no, Jesse is a very nice female retiree who was happy to not only give me a shower but a place to stay. Hard to be upset about that.
Food is everywhere. I am struggling to stay on track. I’m itching to get out of town. Tomorrow morning it’s mail then trail.
Continue to the next entry in the series here: Day 32: Marquette to Lost
Go back to the last entry in the series here: Day 29: Lakenenland