Daily miles – 92. Total miles – 2987.
Fueled by coffee, Dad’s pancakes, two days of rest, hugs from mom, grandma Marie, and dad, and accompanied accross the Minnesota River by dad towards Cleveland, MN, we departed my hometown for Chandra’s hometown and the destination of the journey. Climbing the hill out of the Minnesota River valley was awesome – not a big hill, but I just remember it seeming so intimidating as a kid and we ate it up…
The riding today was a transition – again – from the flat farm fields of Nicollet county to more lakes through Le Seuer county, and bigger hills as we pressed east toward the Mississippi River which we will cross tomorrow into Wisconsin!
Today is day 50, and it’s also the first day of the 7th week of the journey! I suppose just being here, having a good ride today, and eating phat quinoa surprise is celebration enough!
It’s amazing – Chandra and I sometimes bicker like the old married people we are and sometimes I try to draw attention to it, address that we are doing it, and try to make a joint conscious effort to break out and just be nice to each other. On our rest days, and especially this morning, we fell into a little bit of a grouchy vibe toward each other. It happens sometimes when shifting between being on the road and among other people. As we rode, I thought I really want the endgame of such a huge journey as this to be characterized by mutual love, respect, and the positive vibes we have experienced for 50 days! I told Chandra I felt this way, she agreed, and we both agreed that it should always be so simple to break out of a funk. To acknowledge how lucky we are to be together. To be where we are. To be doing what we are doing. I hope that the energizing of our connection to each other and our relationship will build on the strength of being together and will outlast this bicycle journey. I’m confident it will.
So here we are, sitting next to the Zumbro River. We got here early – before 5pm. Short day. Despite some hilly terrain, all of the final four days from St. Peter to Madison will be relatively short – hopefully nothing over 100 miles – and we hope this will give us time to reflect, and to savor the last stretch. If today is a preview, we are certainly entering some gorgeous terrain and will greatly enjoy seeing the best of what this area can offer.
Tomorrow we cross the Mississippi, but first we plan to meet Brady’s uncle Noel for second breakfast in Wabasha, MN. Uncle Noel is a solid guy, and was influential in my childhood in encouraging adventure, exploration, and inhibiting the fear of taking one’s own path. It’s always good to reconnect with him, and he’s done alot of bike touring himself, so I’m sure we will exchange stories and have a good time.