Jared and the Ginger took a trip on Lake Superior’s North Shore and Jared wrote up this account.
4:30 on a Friday, drained from work, I squeeze my fat pug into my cramped neon and head North. Around 7PM I reach East Duluth and meet up with the Ginger. He finishes strapping gear to his Mukluk that matches his hair. A quick blue moon christen and we head up the shore.
We began our journey on the North Shore State Trail. This is a 146 mile trail that runs from Duluth to Grand Marais paralleling Lake Superior. The south end of the trail was mostly swamps and waist high grass. The northern end had some gravel sections and relentless rolling hills. With intermittent views of the lake and no sign of humanity, it was an excellent trip.
We departed Duluth with about 1 hour of light left in the day. We rolled onto the trail with high spirits until we hit our first of many swamps. The trail was quite wet in September and it had just rained a few days prior. Some swamp sections were unridable, even with the fatty tires. After 2 hours of bush-whacking, we found some higher ground and crashed through the north woods–1200 lumens straight ahead. By 1 am we reached our first campsite, a small log snowmobile shelter with a fire ring, an aluminum shovel and a old outhouse.
We pathetically attempted to build a fire with wet fire wood–fuck that. As we were cooking pasta on the gas stove, we settled in to clear skies and dead silence. And then, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! What the hell?! A loud scratching noise echoed from the old outhouse. I quickly grabbed the aluminum shovel and the Ginger scrambled for his 3 inch knife. We shined our bike lights on the shitter looking for glowing eyeballs somewhere in the darkness. Black bear? Yeti? Sasquatch? Big-Foot? I started banging the shovel on a log making some racket to hopefully scare it off. Finally, the animal crawled through a hole it chewed through the wall…a monster porcupine. It waddled slowly off into the woods and we fall asleep in our tent.
The next morning came quickly. Breakfast was coffee, oatmeal, trail mix and clif bars. We put on our damp bike clothes and headed out into overcast skies and sprinkling rain. The fatties were beasts. They crashed through mud pits, weeds and swamps. They floated over the gravel sections and ripped up the wet grass. About midday we ran into some Clydesdales who were pretty interested in our fat steeds. Soon after that we found some fresh moose tracks–but no sightings.
Saturday afternoon, we stopped at another snowmobile site that had dry firewood. We made a fire, dried our clothes and warmed up while scarfing down pasta for lunch. We wrapped up the day at a state park up the shore.
Sunday morning we headed south back to Duluth to finish up the weekend. We stopped in two harbors for a huge blueberry pancake breakfast and cruised the paved trails home from there.
Are those custom fenders you ask? Why yes they are. Crafted by the Ginger himself.