About two years ago, I decided that those of the major things missing from randonneuring in Minnesota was an epic ride to the North Shore of Lake Superior. This area is one of the most spectacular in the state, not just for the unique and historic lake, but for the transition from what is essentially an oak savanna, in the south, to the boreal forest in the north. My first impressions of the state were in the city of Duluth, an old city perched right on the shore, forever at the mercy of a lake that can be as powerful as an ocean (anyone hear the song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald ?)
So I took it as a project to create that epic ride. There are countless sights and attractions on the way there and on the way back. Fitting them in, along with really showing off the state and not just gas stations along an interstate, was a huge challenge. Getting the route to be close to 600k is even harder since towns are few and far between and paved roads can be in short supply. Truly, this route was an odyssey, a personal challenge and an ongoing adventure that is still continuing, for whatever we think about how well controlled our world is, Mother Nature has a habit of asserting herself.
This blog entry, and those that follow, is somewhat less a ride report, than a chronically of the Adventure I have come to know as the Munger Bungo (an epic name coined by no less than IronK herself, who is also epic). Friends were made, friends were lost and Minnesota Randonneuring will never be the same.