Saturday, April 28, 2012

North to Aitkin

Take Highway 65 north to Aitkin

County Road 14, then follow 14 for 11 miles to Savanna Portage State Park.

The Continental Divide marks the great division of water: water to the west flows into the Mississippi River; water to the east runs into Lake Superior.

I went up to help a good friend launch a dock this weekend. As you likely know the weather was snotty and the wind was about 12 knots. Good sailing weather but I brought a Fat bike, so, that works no matter what. My buddy is returning to bike riding after several years so we rack up the bikes and head up County Road 14 to the trailhead.

We are running a bit late and I need to be back in the cities for some other plans Sunday (nothing worth posting but I'll see what I can do) so we ride out to do the Continental Divide trail. It's a sharp ridge trail and only a few miles. The hills are rollers but we climb a few hundred feet before a flowing downhill. These trails are mostly cross-country ski trails so they are fast and flowing.
I still manage to blow my chain on a hill climb. I am in a bigger gear then I should for a large climb but I come in carrying a head of steam and stand to start putting the power down and ping!

I have all the parts and tools to splice in and off I go, but still. This was a new chain. I don't think it had 50 miles on it. I may need to look into a better derailleur if that's causing problems. I break too many chains.

This is the Continental Divide, I guess. It's a classic plaque history lesson. I would rather ride but Brad enjoys taking in the history while he's on site. I can see that but the flowing trail is more rock-n-roll and I'm hearing the music now that I got my mechanical out of the way. I haven't been on the Fatbike for a month or so and I'm having a good time.
This is one of about 5 portages around downed trees. We are obviously one of the first 'hikers' of the season. It's a huge old Red Oak that had core rot.

You really can't go for a ride in a park or any place in Minnesota for that matter without running into lake so here it is. Resplendent like any other, enough said.
All state parks have these raccoon feeders. Patrons are instructed to not feet the wild life directly so these are staged for late night bandits to feed and aspiring photographers to get really great red eye shots of critters.
We finish our ride in the late afternoon sun and that means snack time. I was packing the best bar treat. It was caramel, nuts, M&M's, Whoopers and other chewy goodness. I got it at the coffee shop on the way to the park. We are out of time so Brad and I rack up and head back to the cities. All rides are good and this one did not disappoint. It wasn't epic, fast or long but it was nice trail and great terrain.


  1. looked like fun I wish i could have gone with. What is up with those chains man!

  2. I had a bike that kept breaking chains... I ended up replacing the entire drivetrain and just let the GF ride it now.

    1. I plan to upgrade the drivetrain but I'll do that by way of getting a Pug. Mukluks are find and all but after many 100's of miles of beatings, they just are not built to handle the thrashing.