25th Anniversary Tour - Day 30

07/16/2006 05:11:14 by Administrator

From: Moorhead, Minnesota
To: Cooperstown, North Dakota
Mileage: 104

Shsssh, be quiet and we'll tell you a secret. Make sure no one's reading over your shoulder. All set, is the coast clear? Ok, here it is. . . . TAILWINDS (when heading west) in North Dakota!

The roads are good, smooth and FLAT; the drivers are courteous, and we had tailwinds. Now if we could only get rid of this 100-degree weather. . . . but it only got really hot after 3:00, and by then it is time to seek relief.

One of the activities that we haven't mentioned enough is our pleasure in riding around and exploring downtowns. Most towns we travel in are only 4 city blocks in size, so the adventure doesn't last very long. At this slower pace though, your opportunity to experience each community heightens, which is one of the reasons we enjoy touring by bike. Even though Fargo is NOT a small town, it has that feel to it, at least to us. Riding around at 7:00am on a quiet Sunday morning, we explored the different neighborhoods and business areas that Fargo has to offer. Moorhead has the retail, and Fargo has the charm.

We had breakfast at Mom's Diner in downtown Fargo (yes the Rear Admiral had the lumber-jack special and I had the 3 pancakes with peanut butter). Breakfast is an important meal for us, and it is relatively inexpensive (you get more bang for the buck). We have tried to make breakfast for ourselves or eat the free continental breakfasts some hotels have to offer, but the riding afterwards is not as enjoyable because we both quickly run out of energy.

After breakfast we rode past the train station, and also the downtown (Broadway Street), again. Fargo has statues of different colored Bison all over the city, like Bennington Vermont once did with moose. There is a mixture of open shops, and buildings trying to rebound from the suburban retail craze. After downtown, we rode past the University of North Dakota and finally the airport until we were out into farmland again. This time less cornfields, no dairy farms, and now sunflower fields.

Flat, tailwinds, and fields made up this day's riding experience. We learned that the small town grocery stores are closed on Sunday, but we were looking only for breaks from the sun because we had plenty of water and food with us.

We had lunch at the Page Cafe, in downtown Page (population 248, maybe) with all the citizens of Page, who just got done with church. Main Street was very wide and every one just parked their cars in the middle. If you are ever in Page, try the Cafe! I had TWO homemade chocolate caramel cupcakes!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 29

07/15/2006 04:52:27 by Administrator

From: Moorhead, Minnesota
To: Moorhead, Minnesota
Mileage: 0

Hot, temperature reach 102 today so we are stayed in. Rode to the bridge that separates Fargo from Moorhead because there was a bike shop. They were backed up at the service department, and we didn't feel like waiting. SeeMore understands, and I gave him a nice cleaning instead. Tomorrow the forecast is for 96 and winds out of the east 10 mph. I can't believe our great fortune!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 28

07/14/2006 04:51:24 by Administrator

From: Battle Lake, Minnesota
To: Moorhead, Minnesota
Mileage: 95

Mandy and Mike, you'll love Minnesota! Mandy and Mike are the young couple pedaling from Boston to Montana, read more about their adventure at http://www.pedalingforprogress.blogspot.com/ Minnesota is a great place to cycle!

With tired legs, we are living large here at the Travelodge (pool, spa, with Target, Wal-Mart, and mega retail shopping experiences) about 3 miles from the North Dakota, and about 3 miles from our estimated half way point.

Today's ride was spectacular, at least for most of the day. Rolling hills, marshes and lakes. Temperatures in the am were pleasant since it doesn't seem to really warm up until late afternoon. It was hot , when we pulled into the hotel at 5:00 CST a cool 96-degree temperature surrounding us. We had (dare I say it) tail winds for a good part of the day again, but not all the riding was glorious. Outside of Cormorant on route 4 we had a freshly oiled road for 6 miles. It was not fun at all, and SeeMore finally quit being a nice guy and rode in one of the smoothed tracks on the road. 98 percent of the Minnesota drivers that passed us on route 4, were very kind. Then, Route 10 out of Hawley is a four lane major highway, and we rode it 18 miles (Friday afternoon traffic) into Moorhead; the ride was hot, noisy, and not very fun at all.

Knowing that today and tomorrow were going to be hot, we planned on riding into Hawley and take up lodging at the only hotel. Then a short ride tomorrow into Fargo. But when we finally located the Riverside Inn, we quickly turned around and headed for Dilworth. We got to Dilworth, and the only hotel would not allow SeeMore to sleep in the room, so we did not allow them to have any of our money. Then, after Dairy Queen for fortification and encouragement, we pushed on into Moorhead the big city and retail heaven.

Tomorrow is a day off, SeeMore needs to go to the beauty parlor, the Rear Admiral needs a retail fix, and the captain needs to plan out the next week of cycling adventures.

While having our lunch picnic in the Pelican Rapids' city park, Tom and Dave road up to us, with kind words and bike traveling tales. Tom is 70 years young, and both were on a round trip cycling tour from Winnipeg to Minneapolis. You can read more about their adventures at http://www.geocities.com/tomo105154 I just finished reading about the Alaska trip. . .I'm dreaming again, please don't tell the Rear Admiral.

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 27

07/13/2006 04:49:47 by Administrator

From: Long Prairie, Minnesota
To: Battle Lake, Minnesota
Mileage: 68

Off to an early start this morning in hopes of beating the heat. We were up and at the restaurant by 6:45 am. While waiting for our breakfast to arrive, the former owner of Mikey's Downtown Restaurant (downtown Long Prairie) came over to chat. He sold the restaurant that he owned and operated for over 25 years, last year. Now he comes in and "harasses" everyone (his words not ours he was really a nice friendly guy). Seems a lot of cross-country cyclist have stopped by this restaurant over the years and he told us about a few. When our breakfasts arrived, he excused himself, and we could hear him "harassing" other customers.

We are going to call Minnesota the tailwind state. The wind was blowing today from the southeast at 15 mph, and we were traveling northwest! Not much to report, it was a GREAT ride today, lots of things to look at and we had some views of what North Dakota will look like, with rolling plains. Lot more lakes and marshes, which means more birds (storks, cranes, egrets, kingfishers, bluebirds, and loons).

We are about 100 miles from Fargo, and it is forecasted to reach 102 on Saturday (in two days). So for the next few days it will be early starts and shorter days.

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 26

07/12/2006 04:48:15 by Administrator

From: Milaca, Minnesota
To: Long Prairie, Minnesota
Mileage: 84

It was HOT; today it reached 93 degrees when we were having ice cream treats in downtown Swanville Minnesota. We had a south wind, which when it blew, kept us cool. We also traveled north a great deal today, so we had a tailwind during some of today's riding.

While riding we were debating on what current items we needed to toss out so we could bring new items with us like: wild life, flowers, plants, and bird books; also a pair of binoculars, but the Rear Admiral told me I can't use them when steering SeeMore.

Our opinion of Minnesota has not changed, is an excellent place to cycle. Mostly flat smooth roads, great scenery, courteous drivers and lots of wild life to keep you looking in all directions. Today the photographer captured an osprey but missed a red fox.

Our semi big event today was crossing the Mississippi River, we say semi big because we did not realize until about 1/2 mile down the road, that we crossed it. There was no sign telling us it was the Mississippi, and it wasn't any bigger than the Nashua River.

We met another couple riding the Northern Tier of the Adventure Cycling route. Two years ago they rode the Southern Tier (from California to Florida). They are in their late sixties and look fit and fresh. We spoke with them for a while, we met the nicest people riding on SeeMore!

New twist on lunch today, fresh tomatoes for our bologna sandwiches and desert was fresh blueberries!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 25

07/11/2006 04:46:43 by Administrator

From: St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
To: Milaca, Minnesota
Mileage: 85

Guess what, there is another big hill on the other side of the St. Croix River that you get to climb! I know it was not as bad as yesterday's Maple Road because my lungs remained in tact. The bottom photo is for the people in Polk county Wisconsin. This is the worst road in the 84 miles we have ridden by bike in Minnesota. Please study it carefully, and then use it as a blueprint. Even the worst road in Minnesota, is 5 times better than any Polk County road!

Remember that nice lady at the Information Booth in St. Croix Falls, who sent us up Maple Road yesterday; well she gave us GREAT information about route 37 out of Taylor Falls Minn. (THANK YOU).

We had breakfast at the Chisago Restaurant (downtown Taylor Falls Minn) in the non-smoking section, with the bible study group. After a lumberjack special breakfast for the Rear Admiral, my 3 pancakes (with peanut butter) breakfast and a little bit of religion, we climbed the hill next to the Restaurant (unmarked route 37), which lead straight up and out of town.

Today was an easy ride. Flat and SMOOTH roads, great weather, great scenery, and a tailwind put us here in Milaca at 3:00 pm. Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and as we rode we saw lots of trees, small farms, lakes and streams, and wildlife.

We also ran into 2 groups of cyclist, both going from Seattle to Bar Harbor. We were able to talk to both groups and share information. The second group consisted of 2 men and 3 women, who shared a picnic table with us in Grandy Minnesota (population 100, maybe). They started out on June 5th, and we are the first westbound touring cyclists they have seen. One of the gentlemen was a doctor from Anchorage Alaska! Both groups did not get to ride through Glacier National Park because they were too early; the "Road to the Sun" was closed. Both groups told us of being pushed across Montana because of tailwinds.

What a great enjoyable ride today!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 24

07/10/2006 04:45:02 by Administrator

From: Amery, Wisconsin
To: St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
Mileage: 27

Happy Birthday Aunt Lynn!

Thank you all who been writing to us, and sharing our travels!! We really enjoy reading your comments, and encouragements.

Also we read Mandy and Mikes website (the young couple riding from Boston to Montana), we are glad you are safe and happy, try to stay out of Polk county Wisconsin or put an extra pillow on your bicycle seats while riding through!

Today was a short day, on purpose. We have arrived at the St Croix River, and are bridge away from Minnesota. Question: If you see ski slopes in you're travels, does that mean that you're riding in hilly country? Answer: Yes and it is time for a break!!

We finally started pedaling at 10:30 today. We stopped to have lunch in Dresser and made a command decision to ride to St. Croix Falls (off the Adventure Cycling map). After lunch and a pretty steep climb, we stopped at the St. Croix Fall's information booth and asked where we could find the biggest, baddest, steepest hill that St. Croix Falls had to offer, and the answer was Maple Street. So for pure enjoyment we rode our fully loaded tandem up this incredible, ridiculously steep hill in search of some retail shopping for the Rear Admiral. I think I lost part of a left lung some where along the way. . . Truthfully, we asked how to bike safely to this area and town, and the nice Wisconsin lady said to take Maple Street. Either the nice lady has never biked a day in her life or she was getting back at me for complaining about Polk County roads! Mary is sure she sent us this way on purpose as a result of the few roadway improvement "suggestions" I made.

After the near death experience and the retail-shopping fix, SeeMore wanted a night in a hotel room, with a pool. SeeMore is part of the team, and gets to vote along with the rest of us. So now we are living large in St. Croix Falls.