Monday, 19 July 2010

The Avenue of Pines

19th July: Northome to Grand Rapids

Odometer: 105 km, Start: 9.30am, Finish: 4.15pm, Avg: 22.6 km/h,
Weather: Cloudy, Temp: 16-23°C
Mosquito Bites: 77, Hills walked: 0, Pelicans: 15
Road Conditions: #46 0.5m shoulder to Squaw Lake, variable after that, very light traffic, reasonable road surface. #2, 3m shoulder very good, light traffic became moderate nearing Grand Rapids. Gas station Squaw River (33km), services at Deer River (75km). Ascent: 120m/80m.

After photographing the lake at sunset I settled down for a peaceful sleep (there was no one else around to disturb me). The lake inhabitants had other ideas.

First, about 1/2 hr after the sun was gone the insects went mad for a while resulting in an incredible hissing noise all around the lake. There were a lot of bird calls as well. A loud screeching noise came repeatedly from one unidentified bird species, the sound echoing loudly around the lake. The Pelicans that had sat silently on the water all evening then started clapping their large bills at each other (I think?). This seemed to go on for most of the night!

Pelicans on the lake were noisy at night (Digital Zoom on small compact camera)

I was a bit slow getting away, not having had much sleep and still feeling pretty tired. I rode slowly SE on the #46, rather descriptively named “The Avenue of Pines”. That was exactly what it was as it crossed the Chippewa National Forest Area. It was a bit strange not being able to see for miles to the sides.

Riding on #46 - The Avenue of Pines

I met a couple of guys at Squaw Lake who’d been out camping for the weekend. They were from either Minneapolis or St. Paul. (I’m not sure which, they just said from “The Twin Cities”). They were pretty friendly and very interested to my trip. They even offered me food out of the back of their RV when I half-joked about the gas station selection. Thanks for your generosity, guys!

Poppel River at Squaw Lake

After Deer River, I joined the National Route #2 which is the main road route SE to Duluth. I’d already established that this road has a very good 3m shoulder from a retired cyclist I met yesterday. It also seems that this route is often used by trans-AM cyclists doing a “Northern Tier”. Several people have mentioned to me that “bikers” use this road a lot. Maybe I’ll meet another cyclist en route?

Another roadside flower

I’m going to run this main road into Duluth and hope to reach the city and cross the bridge to Superior, WI, tomorrow evening. I caught a local news programme on the TV this evening and it mentioned lots of road-works in and around the city. I’m thinking it might not be fun…


R & A said...

You are becoming quite a naturalist is that the right word!

Jason Dalton said...

Yes, it's the right word Angela - lucky you didn't type it wrong... Shaun's saddle doesn't want a bare bum(!) as I'm Shaun doesn't either!!!