Day 31 – Yeah, fer sure! – Lake City to Minneapolis MN

miles biked – 68

9/30/2009 The penthouse in Lake City wowed us again when we woke up to the sunrise over Lake Pepin.  We say this a lot of mornings, but THIS morning it was really hard to get back on our bikes.  We sat around on the cushy couches, curled up in the soft blankets, eating oatmeal, drinking coffee and watching Saved By The Bell for much longer that we should have.  We decided that it was our excellent nesting abilities that allowed us to be on the road for over a month now without really feeling like it.

Back on the road, we had a beautiful day of riding… at least for the first half.  We continued up the Mississippi, but today it was beautiful and sunny.   The wind had died off and we were flying.  We made it the first 40 miles to lunch in Hastings in record time.  We called our soon to be hosts in Minneapolis and told them we’d be there in a few hours, no problem.  It should also be noted that it was on this day that we decided that bike and brew should continue after Australia to do Seattle to Baja in the spring.  Its amazing what nice weather will put in your head:)

After lunch was a whole different story.  We didn’t really know the best way to ride into the twin cities, our trusty Google walking directions were giving us two different options, both of which looked like highways, so we asked the host at Perkins (the diner where we had lunch) what was best.  She said there was no way we wanted to take 61 in, so we’d better take the other option, Route 55.  We can only hope that she just hadn’t driven up 55 too far because otherwise, we’re pretty sure she was trying to kill us.

Route 55 started out fine enough, a 4-lane highway with a decent shoulder.  And then it was like the sky turned black.  This is a total exaggeration, but gives you a better sense of it.  In the distance, there was nothing there was some kind of huge machinery, and the shoulder got more and more strewn with garbage.  We were about to arrive on the set of Blade Runner.

We later found out that it was the Koch Oil refinery – just another reason to trade your car in for a bike.  But at the time, it was just a disturbing and scary site.  From our directions, it looked like we’d be off the highway soon, thank goodness, but it was right then that things got really dangerous.  With no logical side roads available, our nice enough four lane highway turned into a full on freeway – with no shoulder.   This was by far the most frightening 2 miles of our trip.  And to make matters worse, it was right at this moment that Caroline started to have a violent allergy attack.  Our bodies were telling us we were on the WRONG path.

After that, we decided we were avoiding anything that looked remotely like a large road.  We wound our way through the residential streets of the suburbs of the twin cities, mostly on sidewalks, through hilly St. Paul and then to Minneapolis to Sara’s friends Matt and Nina’s home, about 2 hours later than expected.    Caroline was in for the night, her allergies we getting the best of her, but Tracy and Sara went out on the town with Matt and Nina to the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewpub for dinner and some well deserved drinks.

Town Hall was pretty great, we had some tasty nachos (in your honor, anders!) and the sampler of all their tap brews.  We especially like the Masala Mama IPA and the LSD (a interesting lavender beer).

Lake City and the Sunset Motel

Lake City and the Sunset Motel

The Blade Runner Part

The Blade Runner Part

Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis

Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis


 
 
 

Leave a Reply