Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Day 37 - Itasca State Park to Detroit Lakes, MN
Miles for the day: 60
Total mileage to date: 1983
I departed my cozy cabin for a 60 mile day in some all too common headwinds. The first 10 miles through the Itasca State Park were probably my favorite and highly memorable stretch of miles. The days previous I had dealt with very cold tempratures, strong winds, snow and rain. As I pedaled on the bike path through the state park housing the headwaters of the Mississippie River I took joy in the sunny warm weather. I felt such so liberated when I took off my rain pants and rain jacket that had been a staple uniform the entire week prior. I biked alongside this awe inspiring lake watching the animals around me rustling about and not having to worry about traffic or people.
The winds picked up but with the warm day, blue bird sky day, little traffic, fantastic roads and beautiful scenary the winds did not irritate me.
I had a bald eagle fly with me for nearly one mile.
I filled up my water bottle at a bar along the way and a group of Harley riders intriqued by my journey fired a bundle questions at me. They gave me their phone numbers and invited me to stay at their houses or if I ran into trouble I could ring them up.
As planned I called my host 10 miles outside of reaching Detroit Lakes to get directions. Maureen said, "when you get into town simply bike 12 miles south of town." I thought to myself, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO.....I can't do 12 more miles directly into the winds!" In a nearly pathetic tone I responded, "What did you say? 12 miles south of town?" I felt a huge sense of relief when she said, "Or we can pick you up in town with our truck as we will be in town finishing some errands." It was not uncommon for me to ride 72 miles in one day, but I was only planning on 60 miles and it took me by surprise. As per normal, everything worked out perfectly, I rolled into town just as they finished their time in the downtown area and I jumped in their truck for the 12 mile ride south of town.
The story of how I found Maureen and Jack proves the power of my couchsurfing community. I contacted Casey (Maureen's daughter) through the couchsurfing website and asked if she could host me in Detroit Lakes. She sadly had to decline since she currently resides in California. She called her mom and asked if she could host her new vagabond cycling friend and Maureen obliged! It was a wonderful treat staying in such a lovely B&B and they did not even charge me for the stay.
If you ever want a fabulous B&B on a quaint lake near Detroit Lakes look no further than Mulberry Row (http://www.mulberryrow.com/). These two have a beautiful home and beautiful hearts!
A memorable evening: After a lovely dinner with Maureen and Jack I learned that Jack's sister and brother in law from North Dakota would be arriving in 1 hour. Under "typcial" circumstances this family visit would not surprise me, however, Jack and his sister had not seen eachother in 10 years! Due to a variety of situations the two resolved their issues and decided to see one another again. I think my presence in a strange way offered a good buffer as many strange emotions floated in the air once the two reunited.