This is the final installment of my 115ish-mile bike tour of Superior's North Shore.  Here's where you can find parts one, two, and three.

While apparently Duluth and the Twin Cities had some pretty serious storms, we just got a sprinkling of rain up at Gooseberry and even my dad's rickety-looking tarp setup kept him dry.  Since my mom had driven home yesterday, this time we didn't wake up to pancakes and bacon, but luckily Two Harbors and it's selection of restaurants was only a few miles south.

We decided to stop at the Rustic Inn and Cafe, mostly because it was the first one we came across. I'd eaten there before after a jaunt on the Superior Hiking Trail and knew it was a good spot for a hearty breakfast and it didn't disappoint.  We took our time, then departed, cruising into Two Harbors late in the morning and there splitting off the highway onto the North Shore Scenic Drive, also known as the old highway 61.

This is also the route followed by Grandma's Marathon, which ends pretty much at our destination, so we crossed the start line shortly after we got on the road and from there  on had convenient mile markers to track our progress by!  Before long we came around a curve and could see Duluth and the Aerial Lift Bridge (our final destination) in the distance!
As we came into the city proper we deviated from the marathon route and picked up the Lakewalk, a really nice bike path along the shore that leads right to Canal Park and the bridge.  It had markers every half mile counting down, so I was quite happy to know we were only 5 miles from the finish.  In just 5 1/2 hours, counting our lesiurely breakfast, we covered the remaining 43 miles.  Since so much of it was along the shore, hills were minimal, and since we finished at almost exactly the level of the lake, what few hills there were we were able to coast down.  Despite this, the three days of pedaling with such a heavy load had worn on me so I was quite relieved to be done. Here's our route and all the data, on Strava.
For a bike touring first timer, I think this was a great trip.   Since I was familiar with the route, I was able to concentrate more on the beauty of the area and keeping my legs going nonstop.  All of our gear held up great, although I did have a sticky front brake caliper that I just stopped using after the first day.  I'd definitely like to do some more touring next summer, although I'm not sure where.  If anyone reading has a great recommendation, please pass it along!  Next up for bike adventures is a ride out to Stillwater, MN for lunch this coming Saturday.  It's about 45 miles round trip, and goes along the Gateway Trail most of the way.  Should be high fall colors up here as well!