Thursday, July 25, 2019

HWY 2 - Day 2 - Crystal Falls, MI to South Range, WI
Morning seemed to come quickly after the encounter with Bigfoot yesterday.  Had to think...maybe it was all just a dream?  Time to get on the road.  Needed the time to clear my thoughts.  Leaving Crystal Falls HWY 2 west turns into a classic two laner.  Few cars.  The road was mine.  Wind on my back.  Surrounded by green.  Blue sky dotted with a few puffy white clouds.  Just doesn't get any better.
Pulled into the old main street of Ironwood MI.  Ironwood is the western most U.P town.  Population 6,800.  In it's payday it was the center of the Gogebic Range iron mining district. The area is now about a fifth of what is was during the 1920's peak.  The center of Ironwood is easy to miss.  Rode slowly through town looking for Joe's Pasty Shop.
Joe's has been serving pasties since 1946.  Holds the claim of being the very first pasty shop in the U.P.  Walking in it was easy to see the place has not changed in over 70 years.  Finish on the counter has been rubbed off from customers enjoying pasties over the years.  Met Mary.  With a smile she quickly asked "Traditional or Cornish".  The Cornish was the quintessential miner food.  It was introduced 100-odd years ago by the immigrant Cornish miners.  The Cornish is beef, potatoes, onions, and rutabagas.  She served one up hot from the oven. Quickly decided Joe's was definitely a four calendar cafe.
All over town the sides of buildings are covered with murals and tributes to the miners of the community.
The faces and names are real.  Felt as if it would be easy to reach out and shake hands with the individuals who worked the iron mines to produce steel for the building of America.
In a small hillside park just south of downtown is a 52 foot high statue of Hiawatha, the fictional hero of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem.  A tribute to the beginning history of our country.
HWY 2 continues to wind through forests and meadows.  Entering Wisconsin passed through the Bad River Reservation.  1,800 descendants of the original Ojibwa Loon Clan who settled near the delta live here today.  Lake Superior filled the horizon.

Kickstand down tonight South Range, WI  220 miles.  The beauty and history of this stunning land fills my thoughts tonight.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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