Cycling sights – a purple cow?

It felt a lot milder when we set off from Bayfield this morning, and indeed at 52 degrees was nearly 10 degrees above yesterday’s start. We saw a beautiful sunrise over Lake Superior and enjoyed a quiet ride alongside the lake down to Ashland. It was a good start to day 2 of our Trans-Superior Cycling Tour.

Not even the early morning hours can deter Rich from his tourist stops. This morning as we passed what appeared to me to be a junkyard, he shouted out, “Look! A purple cow!”. Surely he wasn’t going to stop for that? I should have known better. He eagerly dragged me back to see this creature, which stood among other large scale wood carvings, and required a picture. Before we could make our retreat, we were scrutinized by a man who materialized in the drive. Once he determined that we were harmless, he offered to show us around his father’s studio. He led us back to a fairy tale-like set of buildings in a garden setting, and a workshop full of intricate carvings. Who would have guessed? Perhaps Rich’s weird taste has merit now and then.

Along our way we discovered a distinct phenomenon. Each rise brought us nice warm air, and on each downhill the temperature plummeted. Soon I felt as chilled as yesterday! I eagerly anticipated the hot breakfast that awaited us somewhere in Ashland, and was ultimately rewarded with hot coffee and pancakes. We exited the restaurant to an entirely different day. The looming clouds overhead had dissipated, leaving sunshine in their wake. Once we turned inland, away from the lake, the temperatures rose quickly and we cycled through a real summer day. We had a solid tale wind, which provided little relief from the warmth, but we readily traded that for the extra boost it gave us.

I have decided that each day’s cycling on this trip poses a unique challenge. Today’s was highway miles. I knew we had 40 miles of cycling along Highway 2, which is a main thoroughfare, and was apprehensive about the traffic. It then became 50 miles when our alternate route to avoid a section of highway was torn up for repair. Thankfully, my fears were for naught. A large portion of the distance was on new pavement with wide shoulders, the traffic was very reasonable, and trucks gave us a wide berth whenever possible. Probably the larger downside was that it was a long, straight road with little diversion in scenery. Woods dominated over farms this time, and we passed few sights that gave us reason to pause our ride. We did find the Hanka Finnish Homestead Museum outside of Ironwood to be a pretty and peaceful park with a fun giftshop of Scandinavian goods.

Today’s destination was the Black River Crossing B&B outside of Bessemer. We’d been there last winter, and enjoyed it so much we were eager to return. Our hosts Sue and Stan greeted us like old friends and saw to our every need, as before. We spent a peaceful afternoon in the lovely garden surroundings, with the sounds of waterfalls, light breezes, and sunshine playing on the beautiful plantings and flowers. We’ve already been invited to their evening barbecue with friends, so we needn’t even venture out for dinner. And we’re more than happy to be pampered. We feel we’ve earned it.

1 thought on “Cycling sights – a purple cow?

  1. I never saw a purple cow.
    I never hope to see one.
    But I can tell you anyhow
    I’d rather see than be one.
    ~ Gelett Burgess

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