So this post is probably going to be shorter than it would have been if I’d written it, oh, a week ago!
From Duluth we took the Munger rail-trail for a couple of days, and really enjoyed the ride. Our second night out we stayed with Mary in Harris. She did organized rides with her husband for years and sewed fabulous quilts out of the t-shirts commemorating the rides. She also had a recumbent trike that she let me ride around the driveway, man, those things are fun!
Minneapolis treated us very well, we stayed with John, someone Shawn knew through zines. We did a presentation at Freewheel on bicycle touring. Shawn’s done the presentation plenty of times, but never with me. I was really nervous at first but I think we did okay. Later that night we went out for beers and food with some of the fun cyclists of Minneapolis and just had a really good time.
I do not think I could hack the winters there. Or rather, I don’t think I could manage to continue riding a bicycle in that kind of weather. Yikes! Mad props to Twin Cities folks who brave the kind of cold that freezes your eyeballs.
Our first night out of Minneapolis we stayed in our friend Paul’s father’s condo in Red Wing. We had it to ourselves, and took the opportunity to watch TV–something Shawn and I pretty much never do. When we visited the small natural foods store in town, an employee there said, “Oh, another cycle touring couple came through just a couple weeks ago!” I replied, “Paul and Caroline?” “Yeah!” Paul and Caroline are friends of ours from Portland, doing the Northern Tier ACA route for their honeymoon, and of course they stopped in Red Wing, since it’s where Paul is from and where his dad lives. The shop employee knew Paul’s dad too.
The next night was in Wabasha, in another home with an absent resident. The next day we visited the National Eagle Center, as well as the small local bike shop, where we talked about the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour.
A couple days later we were in La Crosse, which I already posted about.
So! Some big news! As Shawn mentions in his blog, we’ve decided to cut the trip shorter than planned. We won’t make the east coast after all.
And yeah, part of me is sad about it. But honestly, I’d rather go less distance and really enjoy our travels then make our goals but feel hurried the whole time. We plan to “finish” the trip in the next couple of years, too.
I admire people who can travel indefinitely, but Shawn and I have realized that we are not those people. We both miss having a place to call home (I especially miss having a kitchen and really cooking), we miss our friends, and we don’t relish the idea of camping as it gets colder. Thankfully, we both realized we were tired of traveling at about the same time.
We’re not totally done yet, there’s still a few places we’re going to visit, like Chicago. And I plan to keep posting!