Day 7- U.P.
Waking up in the Radisson to the view of Lake Superior from downtown Duluth was a great way to start the day. I was also informed there was a revolving restaurant at the top of the building which served breakfast. Schwing! After nomming down most of a breakfast burrito and some taters and enjoying a 360 view of Duluth, I made my way back to the room to pack and get the bike loaded up.
It was lightly raining and seemed to have been all night. I wanted to hit up the retail location for Aerostich before leaving town so my first stop was only a few miles away. Aerostich hand makes their products in Duluth and they are known to be bulletproof. I have a small air compressor from them that runs off a 12v or alligator clips on the battery. This thing has saved me so many times. Carry a patch kit and one of these and you will be good to take on the 405 freeway! It was cool to check out the operation and I came away with a silk scarf.. don’t judge me.
Deciding that this drizzle may get heavier I put my rain gear on before leaving. That was a good idea because I spent the next 60 miles in pretty consistent rain in about 40F temps. All that fun while having a visor that was so fogged up I couldn’t see anything so I was just following other cars! What a blast right?! This continued for most of the day. I had finally decided to leave my visor cracked open for the second half of the day. The cold wind wasn’t as bad as not being able to see. And look at all these beautiful Fall trees I was missing!
Having cold wet gear at 60+mph for hours on end can dampen your spirits. I pulled off at a visitor center and called Sean and Cristina debating whether I should head straight to Chicago to not have to endure the same tomorrow. I decided I need to man up and stay on route. The rain had almost stopped and I had gotten used to keeping my visor open so I was feeling a bit better, even a bit… wiley. I ended up doing something I told myself I wasn’t going to do on this trip. Offroading! I kept seeing dirt roads off of the highway in the state parks for ATVs and dirt bikes so naturally, I couldn’t help myself.
You may be thinking, you have an Adventure bike. How could you not go off-road!? That was obviously my thought process too. The logic behind it though was to one, not get stuck somewhere where no one knows I am and two, to not break anything in the event of a get off. Oh well. YOLO!
As I made it closer to my destination for the day the scenery just kept getting better. I am feeling good about Marquette, MI. Another great Lake Superior coastal town with amazing old architecture, small town charm, and rich history. The neighborhoods are full of beautiful Victorian houses lined with street lamps. The downtown area was small but had many large old churches and city buildings. Everything was as I had hoped and once I made it to the water I saw the reason I had chosen Marquette in the first place. The Iron Ore Dock also known as the Presque Isle dock. Mostly because I had no idea what it was or what it was there for.
I now know that it was built in 1911 and is still commercially active shipping approximately 10 million tons of iron ore from this dock per year. What an amazing structure.
After touring the town I made my way to another hotel. Pretty bummed I’m not camping here tonight but between the need to let things dry and the chance of rain all night I opted for a cheap hotel and have the gear hanging all over the room and on top of the heater. Time for snoozing for an early start tomorrow.
Goodnight from the Upper Peninsula.