Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Get Lucky

“We've come too far to give up who we are
So let's raise the bar and our cups to the stars.”

I have not had a day of oppressive heat yet on this trip. The temperature has never gone up to the 30s˚C/80s˚F, which is odd for the summer, but fantastic for cycling. Add to the fact that I've only ridden in the rain maybe 4 times in the entire month and that the wind has mostly been with me, I consider myself pretty lucky.

However, the weather was a little fickle when I woke up in Grand Forks. It rained over breakfast and when I rode into town, it rained again, but conveniently just as I reached the overhang of a Cabela's store, so it was a good excuse to check it out and stay dry. Inside, I was amazed by the technology we unleash on clueless creatures — like large screen sonar fish finders and night vision hunting riflescopes — the poor things just don't stand a chance anymore.

Grand Forks was founded when a paddlewheeler got stuck the river and the captain and crew had to stay the winter here

Grand Forks suffered a devastating flood in 1997, but the good thing to come out of it was they turned the floodplain into a greenway with bike paths.

Crossing into Minnesota

Marker that shows the level of past floods 

The overcast day made me lazy, and after riding only 50 kilometres to Crookston, I decided to call it a day when I saw some more ominous dark clouds approaching. I was planning to camp another 70 km down the road, but this town had the only motel in between. Hot tub and indoor pool — OK I'm staying here with some of the credit Expedia gave me! There was a nice Mexican eatery next door, too, and I was craving for something spicy.

It was clear and sunny when I got up, a good day to make up for yesterday's sloth. I had contacted a host in Bemidji, so I had to get there by the evening. The road continued to be flat for the first half of the day, passing through fields of ripening grain and what seemed like some areas of naturalized prairie grasses. In the afternoon the long rolling hills started to appear along with larger stands of trees and forests. I am passing through the headwaters of the Mississippi River, an area I want to return to in the future with my bike+kayak rig to do another paddle/pedal adventure.

possible trademark infringement?

Most of the things I bring are dual-purpose. I found a second use for my neoprene booties — a beer bottle disguise, plus it keeps the beer cold :)

Bookmarked for a future trip
One of the great things about travelling by bicycle is that the bike is like an ambassador that opens doors to other similar-minded people. (no, it isn't a porn site) is one of the portals into this not-so-secret society of friendly touring cyclists who extend hospitality to any who pedal past their way. Tonight I am being welcomed by Jerry and his wife Cindy in their beautiful lakefront home and they have even cooked up a hearty lasagna dinner. How lucky is that?

It's hard to get away from this song this summer, it's playing everywhere.

“The present has no ribbon
Your gift keeps on giving...”

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