Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Day 43 Monday 8/17/09 Saginaw, MN to Herbster, WI
Day 43 Monday 8/17/09
Saginaw, MN to Herbster, WI
1963 total miles
Today was a great ride all the way around-- I got a little off course in the Duluth area and missed my turn for the less urban route, but enjoyed the one I took nevertheless! Riding down into the St. Louis river valley was enjoyable as I descended down to lake level at the St. Louis bay at the south end of Lake Superior near Fond du Lac. The river corssing was quite dramatic and the wind was blowing pretty strong and constant on the high span of the Route 2 bridge crossing, with a panoramic view of all of Duluth, the high bluffs abover the lake, the river, and Superior, Wisconsin on the other side. Riding through parts of Duluth and Superior weren't too great, with road damage and traffic creating the need to be attentive. However, once I started getting past the east side of Superior, things got much better. There is a bike path which leaves the Superior are, the Osaugie trail, which goes all of 62 miles along the old railroad grade to Ashland on the other side of the peninsula. I rode along it for a few miles befofre the Wisconsin Route 13 turnoff and it was enjoyable for the most part, although typical of many bike path projects, there were someneglected sections. It seems to be often the case that a well-intentioned project gets initial funding, gets paved, then is forgotten. Sections get torn up, in this path's case, there are 4 wheeler tracks running parallel to the path and so gravel gets kicked up intot the bike path. Also lots of frost heaves in some sections. Once I turned on to WI Rt. 13, though, the going was really smooth. A good shoulder, nice tailwinds, and for the most part, gradual grades. I was somewhat taken aback at the Rt. 2 to Rt. 13 turn, as I noted the sign-post said 74 miles to Bayfield, which I had earlier thought would be my deistination for today. I misjudged the distance and, in fact, realized in mid-afternoon I would not be able to reach it as I had earlier planned. In the end, it worked out perfectly fine--I reached Herbster around 7 p.m. Which is home to a municipal campground right on the beach of the south Lake Superior shoreline. Look a bath in the refreshing lake -- brrrr-- and ate dinner on the beach while watching a marvelous sunset and churning storms over the lake. Met a visiting cyclist, Mark, from the Twin Cities, who will ride the peninsula over the next 3 days. We may ride together in the morning if our schedules coincide. IU will also be stopping in Bayfield at the Bayfield Bike Route bicycle shop to clean my chain and make some adjustments.