I had to work that Saturday so we got a late start. On the road headed north about 4:15 after a quick trip through Walmart to get some last minute supplies ( I worked until 3). I needed some tent stakes and a new air mattress. I like to use inflatable pool mattresses for my bed when I'm motorcycle camping. They are cheap, small to pack, and disposable when you are done with them. I don't buy the very cheapest one I can find though, they usually leak during the night. I was so happy with the one I bought for this trip I actually saved it instead of throwing it away. The label said Playdough of all things. The brand doesn't really matter. Get the type that has the hole pockets for a can of beer. I've had the best luck with that style being comfortable and not going flat at 4 am.
Our destination for the first night was a camp ground about 7 miles north of Grand Rapids on highway 39. It was an RV park with lots of seasonal units. Most of them were empty the night we were there. I rode right past this sign and went an extra 10 miles before I figured out I was lost and turned around. I took this picture the next morning it was close to dark when we arrived.
We took a couple detours on the way to Grand Rapids so we could ride the river road a little bit. Instead of getting on the river road in Palisade I had the idea to just go west from 169 on Hwy 200 and head south on the smooth part and make a u turn when the pavement got rough and ride back on the same stretch of road. I wouldn't do it that way again. It's a lot more fun riding that road from the south heading north. I don't know why.
Once we got into the camp ground and set up camp we headed back into town to find a burger and a liquor store.
We had a nice view from the campsite. Tony has a hanging hammock tent. It's a good thing he picked up that tarp when we were at Walmart because it rained about 3 or 4 in the morning. Next time he sets it up he is going to pick trees farther apart. He had quite a bit of sag and wasn't comfortable at all. He did stay dry with the tarp though. My little 6' x 6' kept me dry as well. I used the pool toy air mattress with a t-shirt over the pillow area for a pillow case and my Swiss gear sleeping bag.
In the morning we headed back into Grand Rapids to get a replacement pair of riding glasses for Tony. He lost them in the night . It was a blessing in disguise I think. The delay kept us behind the rain most of the day. We headed up Hwy 39 to Effie and that's where we had an amazing lunch at the Effie cafe. Biggest omelet I've ever been served.
Unfortunately after Effie we got into some rain and wet roads. Nothing real terrible but Tony was pretty wet riding his chopper. We altered our course in Cook and started heading south on 53 to avoid the thunderstorms. Hwy 1 from Cook to Ely to the North Shore will have to wait for another trip. We took another long break at a McDonalds in Virginia to let the storms move through. We kept traveling south towards Cloquet so I could pick up Bradley from his mom's house and headed for home on Hwy 210. 550 miles in 28 hours not to shabby.