July 7

7 07 2009

Day 30:

A favorable wind out of the east and flat deserted highways early in the day resulted in a record day for pre-lunch mileage. The day started out well with a dry night of “free” (Dad was happy!) … camping in the city park although we were all sure based on the noise that we must have been on the train tracks when in the middle of the night a freight train went through town. Just how many times does a train need to blow its whistle when you can hear it for miles!

We probably passed by at least half of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota as we continued our travels through the beautiful northwestern part of the state. We rode on mostly deserted country roads in good to great condition. However, consistent with many prior days the day ended with numerous hills but even so Mom did a great job finishing off the 68 miles.

Dad’s “mooing” does not seem to impress the Minnesota cows nearly as much as it did the Wisconsin cows. Could it be the accent? Speaking of which, it is interesting that “soda” is now once again referred to as “pop” and there is a definite Canadian ring to the word “about”.

We are spending our last night in Minnesota in “Pelican Rapids”. St. Paul’s mascot would feel right at home here; there are pelicans – large and small – all around town. It is not at all inappropriate that we are spending tonight at the Pelican Motel. The boys are happy and as rain is expected overnight we will at least be dry to start the day tomorrow as we head to North Dakota.

PS To answer Mr. Rymes’s question…. The muffins did not make it to breakfast.

Brian

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July 6

7 07 2009

Day 29:

Waking up wet was not at all what I expected. The forecast had said zero percent chance of rain and the sky was clear, so we left the door to our tent open to let some air in. Well, I woke up to the sound of rain, and shortly thereafter, wet feet from the water coming in. But by the time we got out of the tents, the sun was shining and it looked like another gorgeous day. We climbed the hill out of the campground (though it was a nice end to yesterday, we all commented about how we were not looking forward to going back up the hill in the morning) and rode about 5 miles to town for breakfast. From there we continued on the county roads for about 25 miles until lunch at Granny’s Café in Swanville, MN. We are happy to be off the highway and on the back roads again, away from all the traffic. It was a very hot day here in Minnesota (I can feel the sunburn on my back right now) and the thought of 47 miles after lunch seemed very daunting to Mom especially. While stopping in Long Prairie for ice cream, we debated whether or not we should stop there or finish the last 33 miles. The boys were pushing for the Super 8 next door, but with Mom’s support we headed out towards our original destination. After a long 75 miles, and a beautiful day for riding, we arrived in Parker’s Prairie, MN for the night. It was certainly a long day for all, and an even longer day for Mom. 75 miles on her second full day, she’s a champ! The only motel, with just 4 rooms, was full so we are camping in the city park (right across the street from the motel of course…the boys are not happy about that), free of charge. After a quick dip in the pool and luke warm showers we headed down the street for dinner and ice cream (again!). We quickly set up our tents, just as it began to get dark and the mosquitoes started to come out. We three kids are still getting used to being crammed in this small tent (Jake joined Zach and I now that Mom is here) …hopefully waking up tomorrow will be a little less eventful – this morning was hilarious. Jake was very unhappy about the rain, and it didn’t look like he was even going to get out of the tent. But even with the slow start, we managed to log some big miles. Therefore, the next few days will be shorter, and if all goes well we are hoping to make it to North Dakota Wednesday night…

Maggie





July 5

7 07 2009

Day 28:

Nothing says welcome to the bike trip like a flat tire, and after only 5 miles Mom experienced just that. We were able to quickly repair the rear tire and get back on the road, but everyone made sure to point out that I have been the lucky one, with no major bike problems so far. They better not have jinxed me!! From there we continued on, down highway 10, a fairly busy road. We rode on that same road all day, the entire 58 miles…that must be our record so far. Having stopped to fix Mom’s tire, and of course Jake’s wheel a few times, we had not gone very far before our first snack break. Even when we stopped for lunch we had logged just 20 miles. We debated getting off the main drag after lunch because of the traffic volume and the dirty shoulder; though nice and wide, the shoulder was covered in rocks and other debris waiting to cause a flat. It cleared up as the day went on, and the traffic wasn’t too bad heading west so we decided to stick with the most direct route. As usual we managed to cram most of our miles in during the afternoon part of the ride, stopping only a few times for drinks/ice cream. During our ice cream break, we decided our destination would be Royalton, MN. We continued until we found dinner at the Country Creamery (Rice, MN), and then got back on our bikes for the final 5 miles to the campground. We arrived at the Two River’s Campground, a gorgeous spot along the Mississippi River. With a full moon above, our tents lie right along the river…an incredible spot to camp. On the site next to ours, we met John who is Kayaking down the Mississippi River…very cool! After warm showers, and a little relaxing by the fire we are headed for bed. Mom’s first real day went well, and she is doing great! We figure by now, after 4 weeks and roughly 1600 miles, we are half way done! Tomorrow we are back on our Adventure Cycling route, after the slight detour to pick up mom, and will be heading across Minnesota for the next few days.

Maggie