Thursday, June 11, 2009

The North Shore Trail...

North Shore Plan-of-Action: I’ll skip the initial swamp that lies between my home and the Zimmerman and Jean Duluth Access point with the justification that I have ridden that section dozens of times, including two weeks ago (it was not bad, but itz rained since then). Yet, I am sure that I will encounter significant swampland along the route, so I’ll bring a pair of high rubbers. Also, there will be a lot of tree barriers as there was a enormous ice storm in March that caused thousands of trees to go down. I am opting to ride the Pugsley because it is already equipped with racks and gears (2x9), plus the big wheels may be of benefit in the swamps. Although the Pugsley will be unwieldy in negotiating the downed trees. I have approximately 48 hours to pull it off, so if I am making good progress I will be able to bivy on both Friday and Saturday night. The plan is to gage my progress by counting the shelters. However, if the trail is wet and slow and if there are tons of trees blocking the trail, it will be an epic battle. To my limited knowledge the only guyz that have ridden it were the Evingson Duo and Pierre Ostor several years ago in the winter, but I do not know any of the specific details. Of course, it is the mystery of the whole thing that captivates me, the DNR has no information other than there is a potential for lots of trees down. The trail is essentially maintained for use by snow-jets as ATVs are not allowed (so I am sure that I will see absolutely no evidence of ATV use as that crowd is law-abiding almost to a fault!). Accordingly, a local DNR crew tentatively plans to get "back in there sometime in July, but with budget cuts...who knows." I'll be surprised if I see anyone else for the entire effort. How cool is that, 150 miles of remote trail all to myself after leaving my house and riding a few blocks. Thatz why I love Duluth. Perhaps if the trail is "reasonable" we will be able to use it as a Trans-Iowa like contest in the future. If I go missing, ask Mallory what to do....

There is nothing like the anticipation that lurks in ones mind as he/she waits for the departure of a trip into the unknown. I can only imagine what the guyz are thinking as they ready themselves for the beginning of the Great Divide Race (or Great Divide Tour). Good luck to those brave souls and special DBD kudos to Joe Meiser....

From My House to Zimmerman & Jean Duluth Rd is ~10 miles
1. From Jean Duluth/Zimmerman to Shelter 1 is 12.4 miles
2. From Shelter 1 to Shelter 2 is 11 miles… Total 23.4
3. From Shelter2 to Shelter 3 is 13.2 miles… Total 36.6
4. From Shelter3 to Shelter 4 is 9.8 miles… Total 46.4
5. From Shelter4 to Shelter 5 is 12.2 miles… Total 58.6
6. From Shelter5 to Shelter 6 is 9.7 miles… Total 68.3
7. From Shelter6 to Shelter 7 is 7.7 miles… Total 76
8. From Shelter7 to Shelter 8 is 8.8 miles… Total 84.8
9. From Shelter8 to Shelter 9 is 9.7 miles… Total 94.5
10. From Shelter9 to Shelter 10 is 7.2 miles…Total 101.7
11. From Shelter10 to Shelter 11 is 9.7 miles…Total 111.4
12. From Shelter11 to Shelter 12 is 12.2 miles-Total 123.6
13. From Shelter12 to Shelter 13 is 9.8 miles- Total 133.4
14. From Shelter13 to Grand Marais 7.2 for total 140.7
15. Total ride distance from my house to the pick up site is ~155 miles

Pickup on Sunday—Directions to Pincushion:
Pincushion Mtn Parking Lot (Milepost 109.3): From Hwy 61 go 2.1 miles on Cook Co.Rd.12 (Gunflint Trail), then right on Cook Co.Rd.53 for 0.3 mi to parking lot. Note: Finland looks to be the best place to access a town w/ amenities.

1 comment:

  1. Next year:
    Trans Iowa
    Dirty Kanza
    Charlie Invitational.
    Sounds good to me,