Monday, February 27, 2012
Memorandum re.: Duluth to Ely Official Trip Report
Date: Monday, February 27, 2012
From: Winston Churchill; DBD Historian
Team: Eric Peterson & CPFarrow
Departure from Duluth: Farrow residence Saturday, 2/25/2012, 9:27 a.m.
Arrival in Ely: Softball/baseball complex, 2/26/2012, 6:42 a.m.
Special Gear/Equipment notes: Peterson was on top of a custom steel frame that he, himself crafted. Farrow brought along a newly acquired 1913 Webley Mk IV revolver. This pistol represents the standard issue DBD pistol-type. This particular model is a 9mm calibre weapon and has proved to be immensely reliable (and consequently popular) in use for the northern latitudes by generations of DBD members. For some odd reason, Mr. Farrow's previous revolver seemed to routinely misfire, so he was issued a new one.
The brave duo congregated in East Duluth @ the humble abode of the mature Farrow. Little last minute packing in mid-morning, allowed for a quick exit; they left with little fanfare apart from a teary-eyed man-dog, named Loki. They ascended the Tischer Creek trail. From the trail they accessed Jean-Duluth road and headed out for the Jean-Duluth/Zimmerman Intersection. It was at this intersection that they started their brave effort upon the Northshore Trail.
Both Farrow’s detractors and armchair purists will be quick to point out that to start at this point is to forgo a significant 5.9 mile section of the Northshore trail. This is a valid point and should a race one day occur the proper starting point should be either the Lester Park Pavilion or the Heck of the North start line (just off Martin Road). Our man decided to pass up this challenging, hilling section for two reasons: 1.) he has crossed it many times in the past and time was of the essence; and 2.) as the primary purpose of this trip was the acquisition of knowledge in preparation for using this route as a race course— going over this known terrain was deemed to be redundant.
Our intrepid men immediately encountered less than ideal conditions and as the sun did itz work during the gloriously bright day the going became quite slow and arduous. Yet the company was good, the conversation engaging, and so the men went about their labors with resolute merriment following a beautiful trail. Even when during an early break it was discovered that the ever-absentminded old one had somehow failed to recognize that one of his heavily loaded rear pannier had fallen off his bike, the valiant pair good naturedly turned from the north and set back to find the missing pack. The mishap costs them perhaps only thirty to forty minutes.
The elder was impressed with the lad’s propensity to cheerfully suffer without complaint whilst both were continually impressed with the lay of the land which is exceedingly hilly and picturesque. The going was slow but deliberate and all was going well until a few miles out from the Fox Farm intersection. Then, the enthusiastic youth felt an abnormality in his pedal stroke. A quick check revealed that his pedal was on the verge of compete malfunction. Itz funny how quickly the tide can change. Minutes before the fearless men were confident of a hard won victory, now the whole enterprise looked to be bankrupt.
What to do? Given the fact that Peterson, an able bike mechanic, felt that the pedal was on the verge of complete failure, combined with the fact that Farrow has seen firsthand what happens when a man’s pedal goes bad, a decision was made that would at least allow for the continuation of the mission. Peterson would limp the bike back to Duluth via the Fox Farm road, then pick up his truck at the Farrow residence. He would then drive the truck back to his house, swap out the pedals, and then drive all the way to Ely. Once in Ely, the plan called for him to start heading south down the Tomahawk Trail with the goal being that the two would reunite somewhere along the trail. The dye was cast. Peterson went his way and Farrow continued on the trail…ALONE…
Stay tuned for Part II…………