Ride Lake Superior Day 6: Munising to Copper Harbor

Today started out glorious, sunshine in abundance. So welcome after all the cold and gloom we had in Canada. We packed up the bike, filled the coffee mugs, next destination – Copper Harbor.

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Along the way to Copper Harbor, you have the opportunity to ride up and through Marquette. We chose to bypass the college town and just continue along our way. There is a Harley dealer just on the outskirts of Marquette, where we did stop and check out. Nice thing about the dealers, they always have coffee and clean potties!

Then we continued along Hwy 41 until we hit the city of Houghton, Michigan, a cute little town on a waterway. It was a perfect distance to get off and stretch our legs. They had a cool surplus store on the main street and we grabbed an unremarkable lunch at the Downtowner Lounge in Houghton. But, the view was pretty, and they had a huge outdoor bar/patio. From there, we continued north to Copper Bay. This is some GORGEOUS scenery as you travel lakeside and inland.

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You have a choice of which Harbor to stay in along this leg. (I neglected to mention in Day 5 [click on the highlighted link] you can choose to stay in either Munising and Marquette. Unless you have a passion for college towns, I recommend staying where we were. It was just too beautiful to pass by.) On this particular leg of the trip you can choose between Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor. Copper Harbor is the northern most point of Keweenaw Peninsula, with Eagle Bay lying to the west. We chose Copper Harbor and stayed at The Bella Vista Motel, on the water.

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This was a LOVELY little place to stay. If I did this ride again, I’d choose to stay here 2 nights. It was such a wonderfully friendly, intimate accommodations and town, where plenty to do was in walking distance. On the main drag, they had a cool little Brewery and tasting room, where we happened to meet the Harbor Master and local Mayor!

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When in town, even if you’re merely traveling through, its worth a stop at the Habor Haus Restaurant and B&B. The food is AMAZING and it is only open in the summertime. Here is a sampling our our delicious eats:

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Fois gras? Fresh Seafood? Amazing Cesare Salad and deliciously prepared fresh veggies? Oh yeah baby! Whatever you do, if the soufflé is on the menu, you MUST try it! It ROCKED. And bikers, no worries. While this is white tablecloth, I think you’d feel perfectly comfortable in jeans. I did pack some leggings (I’m a girl after all), but hubby was clad in jeans and riding boots. Food this good isn’t to be passed by easily. And I would honestly make a trip back, just to have some of this good grub in a breathtakingly beautiful setting.

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To wrap up a perfectly perfect day, Hubby built me a bonfire. He knows I love them, and the motel grounds had a lovely bonfire pit with all the makings, and a wooden swing close by.

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That wraps up Day 6.
Up next: Day 7 – Copper Bay, MI to Bayfield, WI.


Butterfly Moment

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It’s hard to believe, but this adorable grandma looked like a crippled little old lady when she arrived on my doorstep Saturday, certainly in no shape to walk far, much less take a ride on my Throne. (Yes, I call my back seat my Throne! I’m a queen of the road back there!) But let me back it up a bit and help you understand the Butterfly analogy:

Due to the barrier of distance, finances, life circumstances and a stubborn Pollack I’ve not been able to get to know my Mother in Law (MIL) very well. The stubborn Pollack in this formula, my father in law, would go NO WHERE he could not smoke. Period. And he refused to smoke outside. As you can imagine, that not only limited their travel, but also limited visits. I have asthma, and I cannot tolerate smoke. I certainly didn’t want it in my house, and I had issues the one time we visited them. When a tragic, but silver-lining blessing occurred this last year, circumstances changed which freed her up to move closer to her daughters and their families this past week. It also freed her up to travel. So when my oldest graduated from college, she called to ask if she could come. I was thrilled with the opportunity to get to know her, and have my girls get to know her also. Of course I said yes!

So, on Saturday, in the midst of a pre-graduation party I threw for my graduate, hubby went to collect her. She walked in the door, with a cane, looking exhausted, drawn and happy but frail. Over the course of this week, with a good dose of activity, good food, some girly pampering, and lots of love and attention, I have watched this woman come out of her cocoon and blossom into a beautiful butterfly! She leaves tomorrow, and I’m content but a little sad. What a joy to be sending her home ready to start living again. She came to us stressed out and depressed from dealing with far too much, and she is leaving full of optimism and plans for her future. And isn’t that really the goal in life? Living each and every day as the gift it is?

I will kiss her Bon Voyage tomorrow, but I won’t be saying goodbye. Who knows? Maybe we have a girls weekend ahead in New Orleans…a city on her Bucket List.

I hope for everyone to have a beautiful moment like this.
A Transformation.
A Butterfly Moment.


Awesomely Simple Summer Salad

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Spring has sprung and my thoughts turn to easy summer food. Minnesota winters are so depressingly long and brutal, that when the trees bloom, the sun shines and the grass greens, all I want to do is enjoy the outdoors. That means meals that are quick, easy and yet tasty. And since this is the state of bi-polar weather, I look for dishes that are light and refreshing to weather thru the blast furnace of our summers. (Where else can it be -20 degrees in January and just six months later be 90+ degrees in July? I rest my case, Bi-polar.)

I stumbled upon this years ago and it is now a summertime favorite ‘go-to’ salad for me. The combination may see odd, but trust me, the flavors merry perfectly together and as long as your watermelon is ripe and flavorful, this will not disappoint. It takes advantage of summertime produce, and it’s beautiful to boot.

In fairly equal proportions:

Watermelon – cubed
Cucumber – seeded, peeled and cubed
Jicama – peeled and cubed

Rough chop equal parts of:
Basil
Mint
Cilantro

Then generously squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and mix well. .

I am not including measurements because you can make as much or as little as you want. As you can see in my photo, I like mine full of herbs. But you can use less if you want. This is the beauty of this salad. Its so customizable. Make as much, or as little as you like. This salad travels perfectly in a cooler for a picnic or poolside, and is beautiful on a buffet table. Try it and leave me your feedback!