This is part two of my first-ever bike touring adventure on the North Shore.  You can start at part one here.  As the weekend approached, the forecast didn't look great.  By not great, I mean 80% of strong thunderstorms both Friday and Saturday.  Now for a climbing trip, that's very likely "no-go" weather.  Since we need at least moderately dry rock, and many rock climbers seem to be tender flowers that must not get wet at any costs (or at least it seems due to how many call off a trip at the slightest chance of rain in the forecast), two out of three days of rain means we find a different crag to visit or stay home.  On bikes, this wasn't necessarily a dealbreaker.

I mean, we've got fenders, rain gear, and Chacos, what else do we need to worry about?

At our starting point, Grand Marais, MN
As we broke camp the weather was gloomy, but at least dry.  We dropped a car off near the finish point in Duluth, and then headed almost 2hrs north to the town of Grand Marais, only about 40 miles from the Canadian border.  Grand Marais is home to Sven and Ole's pizza, which I highly recommend, and is the start of the Gunflint Trail, a popular route to access the Boundary Waters.  From there we had a rougly 30 mile ride to Temperance River State Park.  The vast majority would be on the shoulder of highway 61, although there's a short section of paved trail near the end, part of the Gitchi Gami State Trail.

So. Much. Water.  Add in the fact that it was only about 50 degrees, and we sure had motivation to keep moving!  I actually stayed fairly dry under my rain gear, but unbeknownst to me, my dad hadn't brought his nicer rain shell, fearing it would be too heavy.  He did have two lightweight cycling jackets that were quickly inundated, and eventually threw on his old US Army poncho in an attempt to keep dry and warm.  It's with great regret that I have to tell you I failed to get a picture of that scene, him biking away with the poncho billowing in the wind.

We rolled into camp in the early evening, and set up our shelters (plus the tent for mom), just in time to eat some amazing homemade beef stew and enjoy a hot shower at Temperance River State Park.  What a perfect way to warm up!  It was also great to have a vehicle to hang stuff out to dry in overnight.  Total distance for day 1 was 30.9 miles.  You can see the route here.