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50 States, Day 76

Day 76, Tower to Cloquet, 191 miles

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We got out of the Bates hotel early. That's not fair; it was a very nice, super clean, updated old motel with only one unit rented last night. God bless the 95 year old woman who manages the place.                          
Upper Minnesota offers great rides, with beauty left and right, straight sections that roll up and down, then slow turns that require downshifting. We motored through towns; Finland, Silver Bay and Ely.

 Next we came upon a sign, 'detour' for highway 1. We took a county road, then a left turn onto a gravel road.
Let me be clear; I've got decades of off road riding and racing experience. Yet this big beast with the trailer behind gets me holding on with a death grip, the tension like a knot in my shoulders. It feels like just a bit of a wobble and she'll go down. Quilter Girl got real quiet. 15 miles later we emerged, upright and breathing sighs of relief.  
Today the riding (except for the gravel) felt like out of a bike commercial. Nice winding roads, warm overcast weather, with forests and lakes skimming by. Aaah. Cresting a hill, Lake Superior stretched to the horizon. No wonder they call it Superior.

We rode into Duluth, a quaint town with well kept older houses facing the lake. It could be a commercial too, except for the freeway through town. On the left we see a huge facility that loads coal both onto trains and ships. A fifty unit train sits under it as it belches coal into the cars.

The end of the picture perfect day, we rode out of town to a (PP!) KOA campground and set up camp. Working around the tent, we got hot. Time for a swim perhaps? We dawdled a bit and some clouds built overhead. The temperature plummeted. Rain pelted the roof. Soon it pounded the tent, machine gunning the top, with thunder growling overhead.
So much for the perfect day.
However, we had the tent up, stayed dry inside (except a few puddles) and cooled off. As Forrest Gump said, "The weather is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." Okay he didn't say that exactly.
Tomorrow we visit friends in Brandon, a trip of around two hundred miles.

And now, back by popular demand, Quilter Girl!
We just got back from a late dinner after waiting for the rain to stop and the bike to dry.  We had ridden to Carlton and ate at a place called Cozy.  I am not quite sure where the people were as we were one of two groups in the restaurant, but the food was good.  Minnesota is a very beautiful state with the famous bugs. If the tent is open at all there are mosquitoes in it with us.  Kevin had one buzzing in his ear all night in Bemidji.  It is hard to sleep like that!  I already have some great mosquito fabric that I found at Faye's Henhouse in Mayville, ND.  I am enjoying the trip.  We have seen such great places and met such neat people.  What a great experience.                                                                             


Mel Nason said...

Nearly 25 percent into the trip and you both sound so positive and upbeat, even with the difficulties you've faced. You two are totally amazing!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

It has it's moments, for sure, but we're still all in. Oops, that's a Vegas term. Means we are... um... all in.

Mel Nason said...

You bet you are!... or, as they say in Minnesota, "Yah sure, ya betcha!"