86 miles – 360 miles total
Today was – well, still is, muggy and hot. This is the kind of weather that made me leave the midwest every summer once I could. But … Some nasty humid heat would not ruin our day or hold us back! The upside was a generally steady tailwind that had us making really good time almost all day! The hills along the Mississippi and later the bluffs of the St. Croix surprised both of us and while that meant some slow climbs the descents were epic. Check out our max speed:
We entered a town with a 30 mph speed limit and a cop in the oncoming lane rocking 40 and had to brake as if in a car. Would have been a pain and embarrassing ticket!
A big highlight today was a visit from Chandra’s sister Keiko and our nephew Leo. We pushed hard for 32 miles over the biggest hills of the day to meet them at Afton state park for a nice picnic lunch. Luckily the breakfast and coffee at Moondance were superb (thanks Mike!) so we were able to move without need for stops. Great to hang out in the shade with Keiko and Leo and catch up a bit, share the experience of our ride with them, and generally enjoy their company.
Keiko brought us Dunn bros. coffee and Surly beer. We bought ice at the end of the day to cool down the Surly and it made us very happy!
It’s cool to be at Taylors Falls again! Actually were are on the Wisconsin side at interstate state park – founded in 1878 as wisconsin’s first! So much history in these rocks. Basaltic intrusion as a failed rift, incutting and potholes from glacial times, and formative and exciting climbing adventures with chandra, Brady, and Bo during our time at Mac. It’s a beautiful gorge along the St. Croix and everywhere we look is some memory of walking with a rack and a rope, heading to a climb. It’s funny to be here in a totally different context, but also nice, and Chandra and I continue to share an evolving sense of adventure that is overlain on the history of this very place.
Now, if the wind would just blow away some of the humidity life would be perfect! Forecasts include some rain and possible headwinds coming up. But today should be both the longest and hottest day of this trip. A little suffering helps us remember we are really alive and whatever comes next we will embrace it. Nice to know it is almost certainly not to include heat like today.