Friday, June 27, 2014

Northern Gravel-Adventure by Bike

"...true adventure starts with a curiosity and a bit of creativity. Armed with both, you don't have to look much farther than your own backyard for the next great escape."  Words to live by   ~Kid

After returning home for a few days I once again found myself heading north. This time to my hometown of Chisholm, MN on the Iron Range. My purpose was two our Mother with some things around the house, and when I could, sneak away for some backyard adventure on my bike.

I love the area just north of my hometown. As a youth we spent hours and burned many tanks of gas cruising these gravel byways. The forests are dotted with hunting camps and there are literally hundreds of miles of gravel forest roads, old logging roads, and four wheeler trails. Through in the Taconite Trail and you have an entire summer's worth of riding opportunities.

 "Finding Solitude"

It seems as if I'm always looking for some peace and solitude and this is a great place to find it. In two afternoons and nearly 80 miles of riding I rarely came across another soul. It was only was only the occasional local taking a shortcut from one place to another. Never, have I encountered another person traveling by bike. My hope is that it will remain that way.

In recent months I've somewhat forsaken my digital cameras and have primarily been using the camera on my iPhone. Since that is really the only practical use for it in this area. My provider's coverage is virtually non-existent, but does get better with time. However, there are still gaping holes and if I had an emergency I would be hard pressed to get help. With that being said, the camera comes in rather handy and I've been having a good deal of fun with trying different photo apps.

You can't be too careful out here when you are all alone. Riding through puddles is not recommended because you have no idea how deep they actually are or what they may be hiding. I was very lucky here to not have gone flying over the handlebars or taco the front wheel.

There is always much to see and countless places to go. It's very easy for a person to string together routes approaching 100 miles or longer that are comprised of 80-90% gravel.

 How could you not like riding through these forests??

 "Cornus Canadensis-Bunch Berries"

 "Aquilegia Canadensis-Wild Columbine"

I'm already looking forward to the next trip north and more of these little adventures by bike.

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