The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sea Caves

 
 It's been five years since the frozen sea caves along the southern shores of Lake Superior  have been accessible on foot.....or fat-bike. It's been over ten years since I was there. Fat-Bikes didn't even really exist then but my first visit there had me dreaming of a return trip on a bike. This past week it finally happened!


 Why did it take so long? It's quite an event when the lake safely  freezes in that area. There is no way to tell if and when it will freeze, or if it will even happen at all. I would liken it to seeing a solar eclipse, the problem is you don't know when it's going to happen. Last Monday I receive a tip from G Money, that the lake was frozen and he had just been there. I immediately put the call out to The Imperial Fat-Bike Riders Group and planned a trip for Thursday. Four guys responded including G-$ and we were set to roll at 6:30 am.


Left to right ;  Best in Schow,  D Rider,  G $, The Savage...missing Arc Flash 
  It was a long haul, just over 500 miles for a one-day trip but it was well worth it. Upon arrival the parking lot was nearly empty.We suited up and went out for a nice ride on Lake Superior. It was a surreal experience for me. I have kayaked on the big lake many times including a half dozen trips to the area, It just didn't seam right. The lake can be a very scary place that will kill you even during the warmest months. It just didn't seem possible that this place was frozen solid as far as the eye can see.


 Even though the sun was shining brightly it was more of a teaser for the temps just above zero F and the  howling wind that was slapping us in the face. I really didn't care much about the cold, I was living my dream, right then and there. We ended up spending about two and a half hours out on the ice before turning back. I would have liked to go further but as we rounded our last point the wind was really moving and the blowing snow and drifts were becoming too much to ride through. We had already gone way past the point of where all the hikers stopped and the steep cliff-ed landscape was giving way to a more gradual and less scenic shore line.


  Once back at the van we loaded up for the next leg of our adventure....to ride the ice road to Madeline Island. This was another one of my small bucket list to-do's. It's really not a big deal, I just wanted to do it. We could have driven the van across the 2 ++ mile road but what fun would that have been. The wind was still blowing hard and it had not warmed at all so it least it wasn't a complete cake walk.

The ice road

  When we got to the island I was pleased to see the roads were not salted, it looked so cool out there I felt like extending the ride further than the bar we all headed straight for. It was late afternoon now and knew a long ride would not be in our future...at least for today. The guys all grabbed a drink and some free popcorn. A giant burger would have gone down really well but the kitchen was closed for the day. The people we met were pretty cool too, a couple fishermen gave us some ideas for a return trip in the late winter. After our drinks and chit -chat we crossed back over to the main land and loaded up for the long drive home, thoroughly pleased with the day .....until next time,   D Rider Out

8 comments:

  1. how do i get on that " imperial rider " list. very cool ride. May I ask where you dropped in at?
    thanks!

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    1. just ask to join the list, Are you local? dropped in at Meyers Beach just east of Cornucopia

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  2. Replies
    1. I think you still have some time, I know you get out a lot hopefully you can make it happen later DR

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  3. You are always doing the coolest sh!t.

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  4. Ice Caves are illegal to ride. NPS has been citing riders.

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  5. Please remember that many bike groups are working on getting more bike trails and locations available to the bikers. If we promote illegal riding areas we are hampering efforts by fellow riders that are trying to make positive changes for bikers. The Ice Caves you have pictures of are part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and biking is not allowed along those caves!! But the other areas like Madeline Island and Washburn Lakeshores allow biking. Those have some very cool caves and cliffs to explore!!

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