Waking up in Butternut was one of the easier nights as I planned ahead and woke up 15 minutes before Wes and Brian so I can get my moaning and groaning out of the way before they get up. After a short ride to the local diner and another pancake breakfast we were well on our way to our warmshowers host’s house.
The riding was through beautiful forests and bogs that were extremely reminiscent of those in the 100 mile wilderness of Maine, but instead of ravenous blackflies it was the mosquitoes that made it feel like we were constantly under attack. The closer to the Upper Peninsula that we got, the steeper and larger the hills seemed to get. I began to find myself reaching for lower and lower gear ranges up climbs that looked like they should have taken me a few seconds on my road bike at home.
After reaching Manitowish Waters, WI we hopped on some bike trails and began to experience unrelenting heat for the remainder of the day! The remaining 40 miles of riding felt as if we were in an oven with temperature gauges reading 94° through the afternoon.
Mercifully we arrived at the Benson household where we spent the afternoon swimming in the lake that Dan and Barb lived on, showering, and feasting on homemade black bean burgers and corn on the cob. The Benson's told us about their son, Brian who did a similar bike trip to Portland and back a few years prior and how life changing it was to him and them! After dinner Wes and Brian went for a boat ride as I hung back to tend to a persisting upset stomach that has been bothering me the past few days, and catch up on a little rest. The kindness and hospitality that the Benson's showed us was second to none and we were so fortunate to have met them and exchanged stories with them, and we honestly could not thank them enough for the time we had in their home.
Looking forward we have three massive 90+ mile days in a row in blistering heat on the "U.P." but for now we are in a wonderful place surrounded by wonderful people and we could not be more fortunate!