July 12, 2009: Bemidji, MN to Grand Rapids, MN
We awoke today to heavy rain showers at our encampment in Bemidji, MN. Fortunately, the rain subsided at about the time that we were getting ready to head to Grand Rapids, and we enjoyed a beautiful day of riding.
This part of Minnesota is heavily-wooded with a variety of trees. The farms, sprinkled in between the forests, makes for some spectacular scenery. As we made our way to Grand Rapids, we enjoyed excellent roads for the bulk of the ride and favorable winds. We are currently camped next to a beautiful lake on the fairgrounds in Grand Rapids.
Earlier in our trip, we passed through the town of Esmond, North Dakota. While in Esmond we met a slightly-tipsy gentleman named Gary. Before Gary went back into the only tavern, and one of the few buildings, in Esmond, he taught Chuck and Mark how to call cows.
Gary claimed that the deep bellowing sound that he made represented a bull call. Naturally, his pupils thought that Gary was pulling their respective legs, until they actually tried it. During our ride today, Chuck and Mark used the call to send a herd of about fifty cows into stampede mode. If Chuck and Mark’s cow-calling proficiency continues, they are considering entry into the cow-calling national championship competition.
Tomorrow, we will make our way to Duluth, MN. While in Duluth, Chuck and Suzi will have an opportunity to visit their daughter and Dennis will rejoin the ride!
Length of today’s ride: 83 miles.
Length of tomorrow’s ride to Duluth: 85 miles
Marshall: Ann and I stopped in Deer River MN on our way to Grand Rapids. The town was having a Wild Rice celebration. We stopped to view the flea market and ended up staying for 3 hours. Ate lunch at the Catholic church; visited with a family whose father picked wild rice by floating in the rivers and ponds using sticks to beat the rice into the canoe. He gets about 500 pounds per trip. We watched a 1 hour parade, lots of old tractors etc. The highlight of the day was the harmonica band made up of young adults age 80 and older. The oldest member was pushing 90 years young. Of course, for dinner we picked up some wild rice. A very delightful day.