Part II - July 26 Leaving Minneapolis - arrive New Richmond, WI
Jul 27, 2016
|Minneapolis - I know we probably sound like a couple of needy cyclists (how did we get this far??), but Eric offered the most wonderful solution to getting us out of Minneapolis and the labrynth of bicycle trails we had to navigate; he volunteered to guide us all the way to Stillwater!! What a guy!! You have to experience the bicycle trails of Minneapolis before you judge us!! They are absolutely incredible!! There are maps, yes . . . But the trails can all come together from every which direction! And it isn't just a paved trail, in many places it is 3 paved trails! A separate trail for each direction on a bicycle and then a third for foot traffic!! They are outstanding in their ability to transport you anywhere safely within the city and beyond and Minneapolis is certainly a leader in this regard! But try being a stranger among all of this! No one else seems to be the least bit confused!
Eric did such a great job! No panic or worry on our part, all we had to do was follow! Again, several riders just tagged along as we rode and shared stories and asked a lot of questions as we rode! So much fun! People in cars would roll down their window at a stop light and shout "where are you headed???"
The trail took us through downtown St Paul. The architecture and homes were outstanding. Perfect reminders of times gone by, the palatial stone homes still stand beautiful and full of character probably much as they looked when they were built so many years ago! Wish I had time to stop and take photos! But we were on a mission and I didn't want to interrupt the flow of things!!
Once we worked our way thru the city of St Paul, we found the final bike trail we were looking for that would take us all the way to Stillwater, MN where Eric would send us off on our own! This trail was the best as it gave us a canopy of shade, smooth surface beneath our wheels and very few people to have to share it with! We made great time! Eric's cycling friend Rick found us on the trail as we approached Stillwater and then there were 4 of us as we travelled the last 5 miles. Lunch at their favorite bookseller/cafe overlooking the St Croix River and Wisconsin on the other side!!!
Finally time to say goodbye and find our way from here! Always hard to part ways, but I know we will all meet again very soon!!!!
The bridge across the St Croix River to Wisconsin is probably one of the last bridges that stop traffic and raise the bridge for river traffic. It won't be long and the new higher bridge will be completed and this relic will only be a memory. Kind of sad, but it was pretty rickety!!
Of course Wisconsin is uphill from Minnesota!! At the end of the bridge the road curved uphill and it was narrow but as luck would have it, they stopped traffic to raise the bridge, so we had the whole lane to ourselves as we forced our way up the hill! Don't forget we just had lunch a few minutes ago! This wasn't easy!!
Wisconsin, state number 6! Hard to believe!! We crossed the 2000 mile on our odometers!! We didn't plan a long ride today with a later start this morning and knowing we have started our new adventure, we have to find our way!
We have decided to leave the well planned maps of our Adventure Cycling route and find our own way across Wisconsin. We will head to Manitowoc and take the ferry across Lake Michigan and then work our way down to see my mom and Mike's dad in Ottawa, IL. Now we have to find our own camp spots or night's accommodation, they are not lined up for us along with a suggestion of convenience stores, or phone numbers!! We did get a suggested route and narrative from our friend Donn at the Bunkhouse. One of his guests sent him the info, he did the same thing we talked of doing. His route took him straight across the state on Hwy 64 to a certain point and then he turned south east, it looked good enough for us so we were on our way.
There was construction, new roads being built to match up with the new bridge into Stillwater. The traffic was heavy, the shoulder very narrow so being the clever opportunists that we are, we took ourselves over to the new lanes that were poured concrete, they ran along next to us waiting for completion of the road and redirection of traffic!! We had our own highway for a few miles!! But then we didn't . . . Traffic thinned out a bit and we made it. Arrived at an RV Resort, River's Edge in New Richmond, WI. These resorts have their charm in the fact that they are old and not updated, lots of character and mid week they are pretty quiet. We were safe comfortable, tent set up and we jumped in the pool within an hour!! We even had dinner delivered from town!!! Can't beat that!
And the best part . . . We had visitors!! Those of you from the Fredericksburg RV Park will know Larry Miller!! How fun is that??? He and his son were riding Harley's out of Cedar Rapids and went about 3 hours out of their way just to come for a visit!!! Now that is two times we have seen friends! That makes me want to name this segment of our 'off the map segment' the Reunion Tour!!! Because there are more people we are going to see on the way until we get back onto the route!! We missed the big reunion in Aberdeen, so we will make our own!! It was a little scary leaving the AC route because it is so easy to follow directions, well most of the time, but I think we are already getting the hang of it and it's going to be fun!!