CC18 St Louis River Cloquet MN“All I need is a little patch of grass; I don’t need power, water or a table,” I told Karen, the host at Cloquet City Park & Campground next to the St. Louis River (photo) near Duluth, MN. All the camp sites were full along with every hotel in the region. We both looked at the sky that was ready to hail torrents.
“How about under that tree right there,” she said.
“I’ll take it.”
The tree happened to be next to the information board that offered just enough shelter from the marble-sized hail that descended just as I pulled Boxxer under the roof (photo).CC18 Composite Lake Country

The storms began as soon as I crossed the Red River at Grand Forks into MN (photo). I dodged some of them, but not all as I traveled across the state. After the big one passed at Cloquet, I set up my tent and the sun popped out for 30 minutes before dusk—and that would be the last I would see it for a few days.

“Don’t you think you should take the liner for your riding jacket?” she asked, before I left home on my journey. “No,” I said, dismissively, “it is July after all.”
Of course, you know where I am going with that line: She was right again.

The next morning offered a cold (48 degrees), dense fog with intermittent drizzle across WI and into MI. Folks along Route 2 and 28 are friendly and “want to know your name” (photo), but this trip through Lake Country offered little else except for one glimpse of Lake Superior at Ashland, WI (photo). Short of Marquette, MI, I got hammered again by another thunderstorm on Route 28/41. I called ahead to Super 8. Time to dry out.