Day 58 - Beaver Bay, MN to Two Harbors, MN - Two Far 2020 - NTF (Not Two Far) - CycleBlaze

July 27, 2020

Day 58 - Beaver Bay, MN to Two Harbors, MN

Heart 2 Comment 0

We had a short route today with plenty of time to explore the North Shore area between Beaver Bay and Two Harbors.  The weather forecast said only a 25% chance of a "stray shower or thunderstorm" between about 12PM and 2PM.  That didn't concern us at all.  The weather was just beautiful this morning.

Lake Superior
Heart 4 Comment 0

We started by riding a few miles north to Silver Bay.  It was built as a company town to house iron workers who processed taconite mined in the iron range into pellets for shipping from Lake Superior to steels mills.  The taconite industry is still very active here.

This is a conveyor system for loading the taconite pellets onto ships
Heart 1 Comment 0
There were huge ore processing and storage facilities, but I really couldn't get good pictures from the road.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The mascot of Silver Bay is Rocky Taconite.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Rocky Taconite's statue was dedicated in 1964.
Heart 1 Comment 0

A less economically important, but much more scenic place to see in Silver Bay is the Silver Bay Safe Harbor and Marina.

The breakwater
Heart 4 Comment 0
Nice boats at the marina
Heart 2 Comment 0

Kerry made sure you get to learn everything we did at the marina.

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

We rode back through Beaver Bay and stopped at the Gitchi-Gami State Trail trailhead.  It's next to the Beaver River falls.

Beaver River Falls. Not much flow today, but there are pictures online of lots of water in the river.
Heart 2 Comment 0

It was a very nice trailhead with excellent facilities.

Almost all the public restrooms we've found this summer have been closed. These don't say closed, but they seem to be well guarded.
Heart 2 Comment 0
It's always good when bike tools are available.
Heart 3 Comment 0
We had no idea what these were. The metal pieces are on both sides of the posts. Any ideas?
Heart 1 Comment 0

The trailhead had interpretive panels too :-)

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

We went back and forth between the trail and the road for miles, depending on the road condition.  Where the trail veered into parks, we took the trail.  One of those places was the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  As soon as we entered the park, we saw signs that said the lighthouse was only open to those who had tickets purchased online in advance.  That eliminated the possibility of our touring the lighthouse, but we rode on into the park.  We were wearing our Withlacoochee Trail jerseys today and near the park office we met a nice couple on the trail who said they just loved the Withlacoochee Trail.  We had a good talk about cycling, trails and travel. 

Art and Judy from Downer's Grove, IL
Heart 4 Comment 3
Art & Judy FrigoIt was great to meet you. We just joined CycleBlaze to follow your journey.
Safe travels,
Judy & Art
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Art & Judy FrigoWe enjoyed meeting you both. I hope you didn't get caught in that heavy rain right after we met.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Art & Judy FrigoTo Jeanna & Kerry SmithWe did get rained on - an added memory 😊. The rain was much more enjoyable than the black flies.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago

 As we were talking, the sky darkened.  We all decided it was time to roll on.  Kerry and I made it just a few hundred feet and heard thunder.  We turned around and took cover under the porch of the park office.  It was another timely appearance of shelter.

The office was closed, so we weren't in anyone's way.
Heart 3 Comment 1
Mike ObermeyerKerry looks to be pondering whether he's plastic, glass or a can. Did he figure it out? (or how he was going to fit in the hole once he made up his mind)
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
It rained and thundered for a while. We were happy to be safe and dry.
Heart 3 Comment 0

When the storm passed after about 45 minutes, we got back on the trail.  The next park, just down  the road was Gooseberry Falls State Park.  The trail was pretty steep in places and we actually pedaled our big machine up an 8-10% grade for a short distance.

Another falls with low water now.
Heart 3 Comment 0

The rain started up again near Gooseberry Falls, so we stopped and put on the pannier covers.  About the time we got the covers on, the rain stopped.  Of course.

Past the falls, the cliffs were so steep that the trail followed the road through a tunnel.

Tunnel entrance
Heart 2 Comment 0
Inside tunnel
Heart 3 Comment 1
Mike ObermeyerKerry found a hole he could fit thru.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago

A few miles down the road, there was another tunnel.

Silver Creek Cliff tunnel
Heart 2 Comment 0
Inside the tunnel - wide, safe bike lanes
Heart 2 Comment 1
Keith A. SpanglerTHAT IS VERY NICE, someone was actually thinking out of the box.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago

This gorgeous blue sky didn't last until we got to our hotel.  About five miles out, it got dark and we heard thunder again.  We pedaled as fast as we could and got to the hotel dry.  Success!!

I liked this view of sky and clouds. Black clouds moved in a short time later.
Heart 3 Comment 0

This is our last night in Minnesota.  We're riding through Duluth tomorrow and then over to Superior for our first night in Wisconsin.

Kerry here...  We had read up on Two Harbors and had planned to walk around town to see the sights,  instead of just camping out in our hotel room as usual.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate.  While we outran the rain getting to our motel, it rained on and off all afternoon and evening, so we both got lots of computer time in our room again.

Today's ride: 34 miles (55 km)
Total: 1,733 miles (2,789 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0