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Labor Day Weekend found us in Duluth.  We have some cousins there who graciously open their home to us when we come up (which has only been twice – once to run Grandma’s marathon and this weekend).  We threw the bikes in the back end of Big Red and off we went for a weekend of family fun – none of which was planned prior to leaving – which is VERY unusual for this family.

On Saturday, we drove to Gooseberry Falls and caught the Gitchi Gami trail to Beaver Bay – 14.6 miles.  It took some time to get all the bikes out and get the tag along attached to one of the bike’s – but once that was done, we set off.  It was beautiful.

Not far into the ride we came to  a fairly steep downhill.  It was great going down this long, curvy hill!  I was the first one down the hill and it seemed like it was taking the rest of the crew forever to get down.  So I turned around and headed back up the hill.  Once I got most of the way up the hill, I was greeted with the following sight –

Working on the bike!

Working on the bike!

Once back with the family, I heard Garrett retell the story of “the incident.”  I had warned him that the hill was steep and to be careful as he was pulling the tag-a-long with Giovanna.  As he started down the hill, the Tag-a-long began to shake and it shook with enough intensity that Giovanna was thrown off of it.  She had some badly skinned knees and elbows, but otherwise was fine – physically.  However she was ready to turn back and get into the van and go back to our cousins house and play with the cats.  It took some convincing to get her back on the Tag-a-long.  The boys and Gary put it on a different bike and made sure it was secure and all the nuts and bolts tight.  She wanted Daddy to ride the bike that her Tag-a-long was on!

Giovanna  - Post Fall!

Giovanna - Post Fall!

As we started our ride, the mist was still over the Lake – so as we took pictures, Lake Superior was not always very clear.  But this is one taken from the long bridge we stopped at for a short period of time – one of the bikes was having some chain issues

Beautiful Lake Superior

Beautiful Lake Superior

Shortly after this picture, the bike that Garrett was riding began having more issues.  The chain had a link that was bent and interfering with gears and finally froze up enough that he could not ride it.  Gary sent Caleb, Geoffrey and I ahead to Beaver Bay so that we could scout out a bike or hardware place.

Geoffrey began to struggle with the big hills and at one point said, “I don’t like riding bikes.”   Shortly after that statement, we crested a hill with a beautiful view.  Then he said, “Hey, the view is worth the effort to make it up the hill!”

We did make it to Beaver Bay and located a place that might have a chain or could at least tell us where we might find one.  I called Gary and they were close to Beaver Bay, so we waited until they got there.  Once they met up with us, the chain on Garrett’s bike finally broke.  They made fairly good time as they coasted down the hills and then Garrett used his  bike as a skateboard for the uphills!

We ate lunch after we determined that we would not be able to get a replacement chain or fix it.  After lunch, Caleb, Garrett and I headed back towards Gooseberry Falls State Park, where we had parked the van.  Gary thought it would take us about 2 hours to bike the 14.6 miles back to the van.  As soon as we started, Caleb hit the start button on his watch to time us.  The boys were fast as they were on a mission.  We made it back to the van in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 12 seconds! We got the bikes loaded and Garrett was given the opportunity to drive us all back to Beaver Bay to pick up Gary, Geoffrey and Giovanna.

All in all it was quite the adventure!  Giovanna handled her skinned knees really well and we did have a lot of fun!