It was close to 4:00pm by the time our bikes were unloaded from the boat and we were ready to head down the North Shore. After hours of forced inactivity on the boat, it felt good to be doing something physical again. We had renewed energy in our cycling, pushing the pace faster than usual. We were pleased to find that that section of highway 61 had enormous shoulders, which lasted all the way to Grand Marais. Given the late hour, this was not the day to stop for sightseeing. But there were plenty of lake views in that section of the North Shore to welcome us back to Minnesota.
Try as we might, we couldn’t ignore the rain clouds overhead which dropped a few sprinkles on us. Soon they were producing lightening strikes over the lake. When the rumbles of thunder became closer and more insistent, we pressed on even harder. Rain began to fall In earnest as we entered Grand Marais. Before we got too wet, we found our motel, checked in and stashed our bikes in the room. Just minutes later, heavy thunderstorms and rain blanketed the area. Boy, did we time that right! Even better, after showering and settling in, the rain let up and allowed us to go out for dinner, make a trip to DQ and walk around the harbor.
The trip seems to take on a different feel from this point on. Our long distances are behind us, as are the hills. So it feels like we can practically coast home. In addition, we are now on familiar territory. No more surprises in our route – we know what the North Shore will throw at us. That is both reassuring and a disappointment. Seeing new places and exploring different parts of Lake Superior has been a highlight of the trip. It’s different cycling it than driving it in a car though, and I’m sure our remaining two days will provide us with ample experiences. And heaven only knows what must-see sights Rich will find along the way.