Day 23 – Minnesota!

Day 23 – Minnesota!

I couldn’t post this last night since we were out of cell phone range.

After I posted last night we had a visitor come by! My brother drove down from the Twin Cities to bring us a bike (which we opted not to take – it’s complicated with bags and all) and a barley pop. It was a reminder to us that we are getting ever closer to the Twin Cities (we are going to finish the ride at my parents house in Spring Lake Park, just north of Minneapolis). Thanks Jim!!

Today’s ride was by far the prettiest ride yet.

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The pictures, taken with my phone while pedaling, don’t do justice to the beauty of the river at this point in the ride. The brown sludge that we say down south has given way to a dark blue that is just gorgeous. Eagles swirl in the air above and the road conditions are markedly better.

We stopped a few times along the way to read some historical markers. Many wars were fought along the river as the settlers drove the Indians out. One wonders how a different outcome could have happened. It seems that every placard announces the destruction of one tribe, chief, or band.

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We made incredible time considering that we were riding into a straight north wind. It was tiring and the elder of the trio was feeling the strength of a bad cold virus. I hope the boys don’t get this as I need them to pull me along. Most touring bicyclists plan “days off” to recover but we have ridden every day. I think the tolls is starting to take me down a bit.

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At about 2:00 in the afternoon we crossed the bridge from La Crosse, WI, to La Crescent, MN. That’s right, we are in the Motherland. It’s hard to believe after passing through so many states.

The state of MN has a great system of bike trails and services. After a 70+ mile ride (we went off the trail to purchase some food) we found the “bikers camp” on Hwy 61. This is a special five site camp just for bike campers. It’s self-service which means you register and pay on your own. We setup camp and had dinner.

I had put Joshua in charge of buying groceries. I am not sure I will repeat this. He purchased eight very thick hot dogs, buns, and had a handful of ketchup packets from McDonalds. Now, it was food, and I was hungry, but I am not sure I have ever seen hotdog meat so utterly processed and so utterly thick. I sliced mine into halves and had “two for the price of one.” With young men it’s all about the volume. No onions, mustard, or other complicating factors. I guess that keeps the weight down!

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