Minnkota and Sherpa Badwater 2012
The big day had finally arrived. My internal clock woke me at 2:30 am-- I had 1 hour before I was to meet my long time tripping partner Jody at my garden center for our departure from Bloomington, Illinois. I had the truck loaded the night before so all that was required was a quick shower, a goodbye to my beautiful wife and son, and off I went. I made a quick stop at the local mini mart for a cup of hot coffee, and to fill our cooler with some water and a few soft drinks. I arrived at the garden center at 3:15 waiting in anticipation for my buddy to arrive. As always, he was fashionably late by five minutes. Oh, well… at least he showed up at all. I have taken him on many of these excursions over the years, and he always comes back for more. Some of them have been downright brutal and exhausting; I guess he’s a glutton for punishment. We left at about 3:45 am. The roads were really quiet today and we made excellent time. We made it to Superior, Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m. I had heard great things about the Anchor Bar and Grill in Superior--they have a great reputation for the best burger in the Northland. We pull up to the place down in the old warehouse district and venture inside. It was very busy with a mix of professionals, tourists, bikers, and of course the locals. After a five minute wait we were led to the outdoor beer garden by a very rude waitress that did not say two words to us. We waited another twenty minutes for her to bring us menus then another twenty minutes for her to take our order, and we waited another hour for her to bring our food. It was awful, and so was the food. I think I acquired food poisoning…..more on that later. We wait another hour to get our bill, and then quickly left. The only tip I left her was to be a little nicer to the next customer.
We had plenty of time on this trip, so I rented a cabin along the North shore of Superior for us to spend the night. We arrived at the “Bates Motel” a half hour before our check in time. Boy, can pictures be deceiving!!! The owner told us that the cabin was not ready yet. We figured he had to move mother back to his cabin for the night; he assured us it would be ready in an hour. We decided to head back to Duluth and go to my favorite store in the world…..Duluth Pack Store. I spent an hour, and my son’s inheritance on crap I did not need and won’t ever use. But boy will it look good in my equipment arsenal! We headed down the street to Angie’s Cantina for a couple beers. Jody decided to eat dinner but I opted to drink mine. My blue cheese burger from the anchor bar was not helping my appetite, my stomach was starting to feel a little queasy… maybe another beer will help. We headed back to our cabin at 8:00 pm. We checked the abode for critters… two legged, four legged, and multi legged, and hit the sack. Going to try to hit the road to Atikokan, Ontario at 5:30 am.