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Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ Category

Poor man's welcome to Wisconsin.

Poor man's welcome to Wisconsin.

July 16, 2009: Duluth, MN to Lake Nakenogan, WI

July 17, 2009: Lake Nakenogan, WI to Mercer, WI

These notes are a little brief, as we’re not blessed with the best of Internet connections right now (hence the lack of an update yesterday).

First off, thanks so very much to John Woodward for the use of his home for two days. The night before we left, we held a mass birthday party for all who celebrated or will celebrate birthdays while we are away. Chuck and Suzi’s daughter Eileen prepared a scrumptious cake.

John, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

John, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

...and Ely

...and Ely

Prior to leaving Duluth, Chuck led us on a “short” bicycle tour of the downtown area. The tour included a viewing of Chuck and Suzi’s old mansion.

Said mansion.

Said mansion.

As we left Duluth, we crossed over a portion of Lake Superior and entered Wisconsin. Our route yesterday took us to Lake Nakenagon and a relatively primitive camp site. The day’s mileage was about 105 miles.

This morning we said goodbye to Lake Nakenagon on a cold rainy day. It is difficult to comprehend that it is the middle of July, based upon some of the weather conditions that we have faced lately; the climate seems more in tune with October.

Rainy morning at Lake Nakenagon

Rainy morning at Lake Nakenagon

At any rate, Friday’s route took us to Mercer, WI. The riding included rain, headwinds, and some pretty challenging rollers. The distance cycled was about 75 miles.

Tomorrow we will cover a 59-mile route to Phelps, WI. We are making a request for a little sunshine.

Suzi and Chuck in Glidden, WI.

Suzi and Chuck in Glidden, WI.

Suzi, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

Suzi, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

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Recently shorn Sue with Faith, Chuck and Suzi's granddaughter

Recently shorn Sue with Faith, Chuck and Suzi's granddaughter

July 15, 2009: Duluth, MN

We spent our second layover day in Duluth involved in a variety of activities:

  • Marshall and Ann went grocery shopping;
  • Sue P. gave herself a haircut;
  • Dennis returned to the ride along with a new tent;
  • Chuck serviced the bicycles and visited with his grandchildren;
  • Sue and Mark used the Duluth city bus service in order to tour the city.

The ride will continue in earnest tomorrow, as we leave Minnesota and head towards Namekagon,Wisconsin, a distance of about 65 riding miles.

Welcome back Dennis!

Welcome back Dennis!

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Happy Birthday Ann!

Happy Birthday Ann

July 14, 2009: Duluth, MN

We arrived in Duluth, MN yesterday and will remain here for two rest days. The weather here today is extremely rainy; cycling would be very hazardous.

Today is Ann Schilling’s birthday, so we celebrated heartily. We dined at the Outback Steak House and enjoyed birthday cake at John’s house. Please post your congratulations for this special lady.

Unfortunately Debbie missed the celebration, but it was for a good cause – she had to drive to the Twin Cities in order to pickup Dennis. We are all looking forward to Dennis rejoining the ride!

Great cakeYummy

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2,000 miles! (just flip it around)

2,000 miles! (just flip it around)

July 13, 2009: Grand Rapids, MN to Duluth, MN

After spending a pleasant, quiet night camped out in the fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, MN, we prepared for the ride to Duluth. As we started, the weather was great and the winds were favorable – all the fixings for a great day of cycling. After cycling about 14 miles, Debbie hit some glass and trashed her tire. Fortunately, we were able to contact Suzi and she delivered a replacement. Chuck did a great job of putting the new tire on and we were off. The shoulders on the Minnesota highways are wide and in pretty good shape, so we felt safe.

Tire problems for Debbie.

Tire problems for Debbie.

As we made our way to Duluth, we surpassed the 2,000-mile mark of our cycling adventure. This means that we are pretty close to the halfway mark of our trip. The next 2,000 miles should be a piece of cake.

Upon our arrival in Duluth, we sought out the home of Chuck’s good friend John Woodworth. John has been gracious enough to open his home to us. We pitched our tent in his yard, became acquainted with his black lab Ely and enjoyed a cold beer.

Shortly after our arrival, we journeyed to Grandma’s Restaurant, a Duluth landmark. At the restaurant, we were met by Suzi and Chuck’s daughter Eileen, her husband Bob and their kids Faith and Gabe. We all enjoyed a hearty midwestern-style meal and then headed back to John’s house for some much-needed sleep. We will spend two layover days in Duluth.

Today’s mileage: 82.6 miles.  Elevation climbed: 2,103 feet.


Dinner at Grandma's in Duluth.

Dinner at Grandma's in Duluth.

Camp at Grand Rapids.

Camp at Grand Rapids.

Mark is looking forward to his two rest days.

Mark is looking forward to his two rest days.

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Minnesota country art.

Minnesota country art.

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.


A Minnesota sized fish

A Minnesota sized fish

Mississippi River in Minnesota.

Mississippi River in Minnesota.

Sue, crossing the mighty Mississippi

Sue, crossing the mighty Mississippi

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A quick evacuation from the KOA

A quick evacuation from the KOA

July 9, 2009: Moorhead, MN/Fargo, ND

We were awakened at our campground in Moorhead, Minnesota this morning by a strong storm – high winds, rain, thunder and lightening. We decided that today would not be the best day to bike, so we abandoned the KOA camp in Moorhead and checked into a motel across the river in Fargo.

As it turned out, this was a good choice for an extra layover since Chuck and Suzi Wood are celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary today. We celebrated the joyous occasion with an excellent meal at the Old Broadway Grill in downtown Fargo. Please join us in sending your congratulations to this special couple.

Happy 43rd, Chuck and Suzi!

Happy 43rd, Chuck and Suzi!

After we settled into the motel, we spent some time sightseeing around the area and getting geared-up for tomorrow’s ride. The weatherman promises better conditions tomorrow as we head towards the White Earth Indian Reservation.

From Sue P. to the Parkinson’s Group

Hi guys, I sure miss all of you. I hope that you are continuing to meet regularly and are keeping-up with your exercises. I am really enjoying the ride across America; I have seen some great sites from the saddle of my bicycle and I have met some interesting people. I will look forward to visiting with all of you about my experiences when I get back.

A special thanks to all of you who have contributed to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation on behalf of this ride. Be assured that the lion’s share of your contributions will go towards the support of Parkinson’s patients.

Thanks and love to you all,

Sue

Entering Minnesota...however briefly

Entering Minnesota...however briefly

Aftermath of the July 9 storm.

Amidst the July 9 storm.

Sue finds a friend.

Sue finds a friend.

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