David Freeze Day 17: Setting up for a big day!

Published 9:00 am Friday, August 11, 2023

Editor’s note: David Freeze is cycling along the Mississippi River. This is part two of his adventure, riding from Dubuque, Iowa, up to the source in Minnesota. He is now riding around Lake Superior. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

Today was my last day on Lake Superior, but I likely will still see it briefly tomorrow. Some things were left over that needed doing today and all of them got done. I started the morning at the Mariner Motel in Silver Bay where the wind was gusting early. The Mariner is one of the best buys I have had on a motel room and I got to stay twice. One of the narrowest road shoulders on U.S. 61 was the first thing I had to get done to continue south. The shoulder had rumble strips, allowing very little room for the bike. All went well before the traffic got going.

I wanted to see the Split Rock Lighthouse, built in 1910 and one of Minnesota’s most photographed things. It sits on top of sheer 133 foot cliff and was built because of the many shipwrecks in the area. I met Julie and Tucker, her dog, out early trying to get good photographs. The visitor center in the state park didn’t open till 10am so all we could do was get the photos from the edge of water.

Then I pedaled to Gooseberry Falls State Park and another attraction. The falls have several levels. I saw Julie and Tucker here too, and and Julie told me ahead that the middle falls were the best. She of course was right. I was interested that so many a people were in the water which had to be very cold. The parking lot was packed.

Then I pedaled toward Two Harbors, the largest of the towns along the north shore. Just before town, I spotted Betty’s Pies, touted as world famous for those pies. The place was packed with probably 50 cars in the parking lot. Anyone could eat inside if they wanted to wait. Not for me, I placed an order for a Bombleberry and a Maple Pecan pie slice. I ate the maple one right away and saved the Bombleberry, a mixture of five berries. Both were great, but the Bombleberry is the best slice of pie I have ever eaten.

The wind was pushing back at me in Two Harbors and the riding was challenging. I pedaled toward Mark and Anita Goellnor’s house on the north side of Duluth. Remember when Mark and Anita stopped to give me a cold drink last Saturday as I entered Duluth? I am spending the night in their house and we just had a wonderful dinner and chocolate ice cream that the Y Service Club won’t have to pay for for. Mark is a regular adventure cyclist and has been on several long rides.

My goal for tomorrow is spirited one. I want to make 92 miles from Duluth to Hinckley Minnesota, a little more than halfway to Minneapolis. We have heavy rain predicted overnight and some still tomorrow morning. I will head out early in hopes of riding through town and joining the Willard Munger rail trail which runs to Hinckley. Mark drew out the directions and the map is ready to use first thing. It is an ambitious goal, but one that excites me and hopefully will get done tomorrow.

Lake Superior covers 31,700 square miles and is about the same size as South Carolina.

Join me back here tomorrow to see how things go on the big day, rain or shine. Once again, thanks for riding along!