The plan for the day was to get up at daybreak and get cool lake pictures. We overslept but Mandi did get up for early (golden hour) pics added to yesterday’s blog. Then we planned to ride to Grand Portage, MN and back to Grand Marias, MN for the nights stay, the mileage for today is 222 at around 4 hours ride time.

So we left the Hanging Horn Resort down yet another perilous dirt/gravel road after wiping the heavy dew off of the bike, making pavement some 15-20 minutes later and headed straight for Duluth and breakfast. We have a full schedule as we hope to stop at Harley and a number of scenic parks along the way (No Pressure!). As we get into Duluth we hit construction, claiming road closure but made it to out desired exit and went straight to a gas station on fumes from yesterday’s run.

Then it was breakfast time, and we had chosen the very reputable Uncle Loui’s Cafe. It was perfect! If ever in Duluth this is a must stop for breakfast, while we ate we watched people lining up in the street to get in.

Now with our tank/bellies full we’re off to the Duluth Aerial Bridge, and although no boats were scheduled to pass today we were lucky enough to catch a raising of the bridge on video (you’ll have to wait for the video) and pics! Next up, Duluth Harley Davidson, and what a surprise limited stock and crappy colors, we left without spending the obligatory hundred doll hairs.

Back on the road looking for cool sights for my favorite shutterbug to shoot, we pulled into a wayside that I thought might be picturesque, but I was mistaken, because we couldn’t remember the names of the places where we wanted to stop. So I suggested that Mandi get her phone out and check the names, and charge it (from the rear seat – cuz I hooked her up with a in seat charger) in the meantime. She agreed, and we were quickly back on task, and headed straight to Gooseberry State Park to photograph the infamous Gooseberry Falls, only when she opened the saddlebag no purse was there. FULL STOP SHEER PANIC! Without her purse, ID, keys, credit cards etc. life came to grinding halt, she went through all these ideas, most stressful being the fact that she is to board a flight out of Minneapolis tomorrow afternoon. NO ID, NO FLY -Holy Shite! She was nearly in tears, but not Mr Calm, Cool & Collected…

Okay, let’s slow everything down and figure this out…

We came to the conclusion after a few minutes that the last place she had it was that wayside when she got her phone out. So we loaded up and hauled tail back to it (I might have gone slightly over the speed limit here – not so calm anymore), and arrived to find a red pick-up still parked where it was when we left. So Mandi asked if they had seen the purse or anyone pick it up, I mean we’re grasping at straws at this point. The elderly couple said they hadn’t seen anything, we described the purse and they left shortly after.

So Mandi called the police to start a report and eventually got routed to the State Troopers and initiated a report, in the meantime I called Duluth Harley in case it was dropped there, knowing it couldn’t have been because phone was in it (but I had to do something!).

In the meantime the nice couple in the red pick-up comes rolling back in and says they think they found the purse about 5 miles up the road laying on the side, but they didn’t pick it up because it appeared to have been run over, and they didn’t want to disturb it. I said great (although I wished they had picked it up and brought it back), they described where it was and offered to go back and park by it until we could get there. I thanked them and the tried get Mandi to cut her call short letting her know we may have found it.

We got her off the phone and blasted some 5 miles (and again I might have been pushing it a little – til I saw a trooper going the other way) and found the red truck. Only as we pulled up the gentleman came up and says that a Trooper picked it up and was headed back down to the wayside… Well crud, now do I run back down there or hope he comes back? Luckily just as we’re about to blast off again I check my rear view and the Trooper is returning lit up, so I park the bike we have a nice chat, Mandi gets her mutilated purse back, with all it’s contents and the nice couple drove off before we could even thank them again…

All I could think was, I just lost the chance to have my best friend accompany me home, because now she can catch her plane tomorrow and I’ll be solo again. Somehow, I don’t think any of this crossed her mind.

Edit – After proofreading this, this morning I was informed she had thought about this, and was more concerned about calling her boss explaining the dog ate her homework so she wouldn’t be in for four more days…

PURSE DEBACLE EPILOGUE

Apparently in the melee at this wayside her purse must’ve gotten left on top of the tourpak (unsecured), we took off and reached cruising speed and had passed a couple of vehicles in the passing lane and had moved over to the right lane a little before it ended and her purse must’ve sailed off the back when we hit a rut during that lane change, and then the purse got clipped by one of those cars we passed or one of 50 others that had passed in the hour or more this all unfolded. Amazingly the only casualty was a lip gloss and her dental floss, the keys (including fobs) and a pair of reading glasses were still intact. So she needs to replace the purse, dental floss and lip gloss. That’s a win, anyway you look at it.

Back to your regularly scheduled program…

We are at this point still an hour south of Grand Marais (who planned this trip?), and decided that the many parks and Grand Portage weren’t gonna be possible now, so we skipped Gooseberry, and stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park for a couple of pics, then a stop at Cross River Falls (right on the highway) and decided to cut our losses and get to the romantic cabin I had reserved at Trailside Cabins and Motel (we got a picture for ya), and blasted straight in.

Next we needed fuel and food and hoped to find a new purse, we struck out on the purse but got the other two. Dinner tonight would be at the Angry Trout Cafe ( DELICIOUS!), after a 90 minute wait, so Mandi got her second walk on the beach (although this one had pink pebbles instead of sand), all I wanted was a cold drink after this day, my head ached. After about 35 minutes (although it felt longer) we came back to the Angry Trout Cafe and checked in (yay, only 7 people still ahead of us), we grabbed some drinks and waited outside and watched the moon rise over the harbor. Of course my little shutterbug took a few pics for you, me too but mine pretty much didn’t make the cut.

After dinner we stopped by another bar with music, and after another not so great drink we headed back to our cabin, knowing that we couldn’t keep you guys waiting any longer for this blog (really, I was worried I’d forget all the crazy stuff from today)… As I start to upload this it’s nearly 2:00 am (I don’t know how any of these social media influencers do this for a living). Good night and tomorrow we’ve clipped our intended run to a beeline for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Stay tuned, God only knows what can happen between here and there…

Below you can see today’s route mapped out (as originally planned…

Day 14 - Barnum to Grand Marais, MN