Northern Minnesota is largely unpopulated, except by lakes and trees. And our cycling route for the day certainly confirmed that fact.
The planned route was to head straight to Ely, requiring only 31 miles of cycling and leaving plenty of time there for other pursuits. Since Rich had a reprieve from sag wagon duties, we took the liberty of following an alternate and more circuitous route to Ely. Straying from the main highway, we enjoyed quieter roads and the unexpected benefit of brand new pavement. To a cyclist there is nothing better than a smooth unblemished surface!
Just to balance things out, we did ride through some significant rain. But the warm day and returning sunshine dried us off in a hurry once it stopped.
Throughout our whole ride we didn’t pass through a single town, with the exception of Babbitt which was a deliberate detour for a comfort stop. The remainder of our miles were all through quiet woodlands with a few houses and lakes nestled behind the trees. It was the kind of ride that encourages my mind to wander – a very liberating feeling.
Our speedy journey left us with a free afternoon, and we took a leisurely walk around Ely and along Miners Lake. It felt truly summer-like, which has been a rare sensation this year. Rich found a new “dorky hat” to keep the sun off his fair skin, which he promptly put into service.