Monday, July 12, 2010

Finding Bayfield

Compared to the Ural, the SV650 is effortless to ride. The 300 miles today hardly felt like work at all. We left the twin cities this morning and rode north. We stopped at Jay Cooke State Park and admired the rapids. We didn't hike around much since ATGATT isn't hiking friendly. It was nice to have a snack while listening to the water rush over the basalts. Last time I was in that park it was the weekend and it was packed. A Monday is a great time to come. The park was nearly empty as was the beautifully twisty MN210.

We stopped for lunch in Duluth and were able to enjoy some tasty morsels while staring out over Lake Superior. Many of the roads in Duluth were under construction which made getting around difficult.

We left Duluth and headed east along the shore via WI13. 13 winds along the coast and into large empty fields. It was very relaxing riding in such a beautifully empty space with only a house or car every few miles. The wildflowers were in full bloom. There were seas of yellows, whites, and purple mixed in with the green grass and pines. I am not normally a flower guy, but they were beautiful. The fragrance was intoxicating and potent. We enjoyed it for over 60 miles.

I saw a sign for the mouth of Bois Brule River and made a fast u-turn. We turned onto a "4" mile gravel road which was heavily corrogated in the center. It felt like the bike was going to shake apart until I learned to ride near the edge where the gravel was deeper, but it was a smoother ride. It was a very long four miles, but the view at the end was totally worth it.

As we walked out of the forest we were greated with a large sandy beach complete with some sun bleached drift wood. The breeze blowing across the lake was very freshing after getting out of the riding gear.

We eventually pried ourselves away from the beach and climbed back on the bike. After a overly long detour of 13 we ended up south of Bayfield. Eventually we figured out we were riding the wrong way when we were just a few miles from Ashland. Another u-turn and 30 minutes and we were finally in Bayfield. We got a great room in a hotel right on the shore. It even has a little view of the islands in the lake. Dinner at a small cafe with a lakeside view completed a perfect day.

Today was perfect for riding with temps from the high 60s to low 70s. The sky was blue with only 2.5 clouds. The SV reminded me why it is my favorite bike, so easy and so fun. It is comfortable for long distances and can easily haul both of us and our stuff.

I am not sure what the plan for tomorrow is besides riding back home to Minnesota. I'm sure we'll find some interesting roads to explore, and the weather is supposed to be an encore of today. I am looking forward to another great day with my wife and the bike.

PS: Paul got out of the hospital tonight and is resting at home.


  1. ATGATT is definitely not hiking friendly. If my family is not along with me(so I can throw my riding gear in the van), I use a 8ft long steel cable with lock.

    You can cinch it tight, run it first through a sleeve on the jacket, pant leg on the riding pants, helmet buckle, secure all to some part of your motorcycle. A bit of a pain but it makes stealing your gear a bit tougher.

    Then again, I rarely hike! : )

  2. Charlie6: I have a cable like that. It was conveniently sitting at home.

    We don't hike much either as it conflicts with riding around, but it is nice to go for a walk and get off the bike for a while.