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Yesterday (5/30) I decided I fancied a bit of a ride out, and decided to head northwards since I have been exploring the southern region of the state lately.

I set out at 7am, to give myself plenty of time, and began by cruising up Mn 25 by way of Buffalo. It rained a little during the night, so the morning was delightfully fresh and cool - about 60°F, and a brisk breeze was blowing from the plains. It created a bit of a "walleye chop" on Buffalo lake:







 

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I stopped in Big Lake for breakfast. A BIG breakfast - at "The Lake Cafe", and excellent and reasonably priced diner, situated next door to a McDonalds. It gave me huge satisfaction to see the McDonalds empty, and the diner full of people getting real food, but I take pleasure from that kind of thing.

From there, I made my west to Wisconsin via backroads - county route 22 to be precise, and crossed from Taylors Falls Mn into St Croix Falls Wi. A great place to stop and admire the views of the St. Croix valley, that I completely failed to take pictures of. :eek:

Still - time to turn northwards on CR 87. What a delightful road - empty, good quality, some sweeping bends - and the WOW fragrance from the pines. This stayed with me all day - not just the memory, the actual scent. Real pine scent like that is simply amazing.

From 87, onto county road F at Grantsburg. Incidentally, I can strongly recommend the Grantsburg watercross event weekend - great fun, racing snowmobiles on the open lake in July, great fireworls and bands - a huge party.

County road F twists and turns, and is totally deserted. I saw maybe one car on it in 30 miles. I paused briefly and shut the engine off just to enjoy the sound of nothing at all. Snapped a piccie while I was at it.

Came from:



Going To:

 

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County Road F ends up in Danbury, and from there I joined Wi-35.

Wi 35 is a nice cruising road, quiet, winds it's way thorugh the country, nothing demanding, nothing much going on, very peaceful.

That takes you into Superior Wi, the home of Amsoil. We shall not debate oil here though!

You can go across to Duluth on Us Hwy 2 on the big bridge (pics later) but that tends to dump you on I35, although the bridge is fun.

I like to cross on a smaller bridge, which has a railroad track running over the top of it. Crossing the bridge at the same time as a train is quite something.

To get there you go via Wi105, which quickly becomes Mn 39 once ovber the border.

Wi 105:



I spent some happy time in Duluth getting turned around and generally misdirected by roadworks, cutting off my carefully thought out routes, and a huge police raid (or something) at a house in one area of Duluth. I tried to kind of skulk by that - don't know what was happening - don't want to know. (say nothing, act casual).

I did spend a bit of time cruising skyline parkway, which affords some great views:

The US Hwy 2 bridge I mentione earlier:



The same with Bonnie:



Again from a different vantage point:

 

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The aerial lift bridge is great to watch, and I can recommend a walk around canal park where it is situated. Watching a 1000 footer come in or go out is great from up close.

Here is the aerial lift bridge viewed from Skyline Parkway, with a ship coming in:



From there I turned southwards, and made my through Jay Cooke State Park on Mn 210. This is great fun, with some tight turns and bends, over looking the St. Louis river:





 

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From Mn 210, onto old highway 61. This old road used to be the main route from the cities to Duluth, until I-35 got built. It runs alongside I 35, criss crossing it occassionally. It can be quite fun to ride on the nearly empty Hwy 61, and watch traffic backed up on I 35 on busy holiday weekends. Suckas!

I just cruised and cruised on this road, through Moose Lake (which the old Soo Line railway crosses):



and through endless Pine avenues:



Until I reached Hinckley. From there, a short hop on Mn 23 west, and then down more county roads to Cambridge. Had to do a 10 mile stretch on freshly gravelled roads :mad: but again managed to get back off that and get onto the back roads, gradually winding my way south and home. I did find a 1974 CB750 that someone had for sale in Elk River - but it was seriously beaten up, even if they did only want 150 bucks for it. I have enough projects! :D

All in all, a great ride. 470 miles, 12 hours of riding around. Most enjoyable, and the bike performed faultlessly. What a geat way to explore!
 

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looks like a fun ride. i wish i could have gotten out more this weekend but i was stuck working. i did see a large group of vintage british bike outside a coffeehouse in minneapolis yesterday morning.
 

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Great pictures, prop!
 

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Well you had quite a day out on your Bonnie & thanks for sharing. Great report & pics! Thanks.

DaveB.
 

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Wonderful pics, and a brilliant write-up. Love seeing these kind of trips. Being from Nebraska, I can see taking the same someday!!

cheers~
 

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I am stuck at work and looking at your pictures it looks like the right thing to do, lovely pictures, I truly enjoyed!! The Bonnie looks great too!
 

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I did find a 1974 CB750 that someone had for sale in Elk River - but it was seriously beaten up, even if they did only want 150 bucks for it.
I'll give them 175 if they'll throw in shipping... :p

Great report, prop! Your photo efforts are being rewarded; there are some really good ones here. The bike with the sweeping bridge in the background, and the river framed by the trees... good stuff!
 

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Oh this ride report has been resurrected. Actually I find that rather gratifying. It was a good trip - I did it again with minor differences in the route a month or so ago.

I always liked that picture of the bike, with the bridge in the background, although it is a bit bleached out because of the bright day, but overall I like it. There is some very pretty riding in the northern part of the state. Well, it's pretty everywhere, but there are more turns in the roads in that area.
 

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Great pics Prop. Much better route than going straight up I35.
 

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I'm heading that way in a month. Your pics make it very enticing. I'll be riding around all the lakes on this trip and stopping in Wisconsin to visit my nephew. I'm really looking forward to seeing that part of the country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's a beautiful area, you will enjoy it. Try and get up to Skyline Parkway in Duluth - it makes for a great view. Also the little bridge from Oliver near Superior, Wi across to Duluth is more fun than the big bridge on Hwy 2, but it's all good.
 
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