Its hard to believe that our trip is almost over – only 3 more biking days until Fargo. My last post was in Port Wing, my favorite town on our journey so far. The setting and people were a joy. Our next destination was Duluth, and the ride included a trip across the Bong Bridge a 2 mile span with its own separated bike lane, crossing the St Louis River. It was windy, but fun. Our hotel was located close to the bridge, so we didn’t see the city at all. I had a zoom meeting with my True Concord board, where we are trying to figure out how to hold concerts in the age of covid. It gives me a perspective beyond the medical aspects, and the constantly changing conditions make planing difficult.
The next morning, we had a very difficult climb over the hills surrounding the city, but it was over in about 5 miles and the rest of the day was back to Route 2 and rolling hills. We ended at the Stardust Motel in Floodwood, where my friend, Mary, joined us for dinner and a walk to Patricia and Julia’s campsite. Mary is a fantastic runner and knows the importance of snack foods, so brought us nuts, chocolate and wine. What a friend!
The following day brought us to Grand Rapids (Minn not Michigan), home of Judy Garland. Our motel was the worst so far, poorly kept up and smelling of smoke. The only saving grace was the restaurant a block away which had a pizza buffet for lunch. On to Lake Winnie and the Gosh Dam place. This is a big fishing area, so we met many fishermen (I guess this isn’t much of a woman’s sport, especially since it seems to consist of lots of beer drinking). My friend, Robin, and her son Remington joined us there. The riding was primarily on small roads and occasionally route 2, but sections with little traffic ad decent bike lanes. We crossed over the dam the following morning, and the lake was very picturesque.
We spent our next rest day in Bimidji, a college town on a lake. We had a great dinner of Thai food, eating at the park on Lake Bimidji. What a pleasant change from fried fish, pizza and burgers. Robin drove us to the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca State Park (the next morning (lodges not open due to covid, so we were unable to ride and stay there). We walked across the river, which was about 20 ft at that point. The park exhibit was well done, and explained the history and the impact of the river on the many states it traverses.
Bong bridge crossing the Mississippi home in Port Wing
After an easy ride on the Paul Bunyon Trail with Robin, we spent last night at Leech Lake, where we opted for paddling a canoe rather than swimming I had my run-in with leeches in Nepal and prefer not to repeat that experience! Our B & B was far from town, so we brought our own food, consisting of cheese, sausage, hummus and peanut butter, with wine of course. We tried watching Somewhere in Time, since it was filmed in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, but it was pretty dated and boring. We are waiting for our breakfast of wild rice quiche, and then will meet up with Patricia and Julia in Walker and on to Park Ridge, Detroit Lakes and Fargo.
I have certainly gotten into the rhythm of biking almost every day and have learned how to take each day’s highs and lows in stride. We have now ridden over 1600 miles, with almost 50,000 ft of elevation change. Our biking group has been very compatible, which has made the journey more enjoyable. I have mainly watched Paul, Julia and Patricia’s interviews from a distance, but have gotten the impression that most people see the health care system from their own perspective and have no ability or interest in seeing how to make the system work better for everyone. There has been almost universal condemnation of politicians and their lack of follow through. It seems that many people misunderstand the political process and don’t see the political parties as representing different values. This is so different than the approach of people that I work with in my political work back in Tucson, and it is hard for me to see how to bridge that gap. I see such a threat to our democracy if we have 4 more years of the current administration, that it is hard for me to understand how others don’t have the same concerns. Time to return and work harder on getting out the Democratic vote!
3 thoughts on “Biking info and more”
Eve, I too am saddened that your ride is coming to a close. Between the journals written by you, Patricia and Mark, I have been able to be reminded of the joys and not-so-joyful aspects of bike touring. So Thank you.
And thank you for your thoughtful diagnosis of the political-belief divide we are all experiencing. If this pandemic cannot bring our Country together, I wonder what will. Anyway, thanks for letting us “ride along” on your bike tour.
I can see how such a trip can enhance our awareness of the country as well as seeing how ingrained ideas are inn all of us and how hard to shift understanding empathy and individual limitations about their perceptions of what a country means when we consider life time issues.
Amazing…..yes quite an adventure 🚴♀️
You are my hero👊
Thanks for allowing me to liv ed vicariously through you!