February 13, 2009: Hwy 2 to the Knotted Pine and Back

Pat and I got a late start on Friday evening but decided to try and get out for a ride to see what the trails were like and test his machine (he's only successfully completed something like 2 rides this whole year where he didn't need to be towed out or get picked up).

I rode from the house down to the corner of Martin and Lavaque Rd where he picked me up since my father-in-law still has my trailer. The Hermantown Trail from Fish Lake to the Martin Rd was in tough shape - there were a number of rocks and such that you had to watch out for and the trail was fairly icy - I doubt I'd ride it again until we got some more snow (although I would still call it rideable right now).

After he picked me up we gassed up at the Lakewood One Stop and then finally got up to the Hwy 2 lot around 7:15pm. We were surprised to see a number (perhaps 10) vehicles in the lot. We chatted briefly with a guy from the cities that had gone up to Grand Marais and back that day - he said the trails weren't bad but were a little rough. We opted to head up the Yukon Trail to the Knotted Pine and were very happy that we did - the trails were beautifully smooth and had a couple of inches of fresh powder on them - you couldn't really ask for better trails at all. We never saw a single sled on the Yukon on the way up to the Knotted Pine or on the way back.

On the way back we explored the "Yukon Spur" trail. The intersection is about 9 miles north of the start of the trail (at the North Shore Trail). The spur trail, as it turns out, comes out on Bear Pit Rd which intersects with Beaver Crossing about a half mile or so inland from the NST intersection at the crossing. If you're coming down the shore and are intending on going up the Yukon (or the other way around), the spur trail will save you about 15 miles instead of having to go back nearly all the way to the Hwy 2 lot and then up the Yukon. Definitely a savings! I always like to explore some new trails that I haven't been on, although usually time and/or gas in the tank doesn't allow for it, so I'm glad we got a little exploring in (even though we ended up back at the truck at about 11:30pm).

Next weekend should be a 300+ mile ride, probably up to the end of the Gunflint (starting at Hwy 2). Should be fun!

Total miles this ride: 114
Total miles this year: 1322

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