Saturday, May 9, 2009
Day 29 Winona to Red Wing, MN
Miles biked today: 67
Total mileage to date: 1482
I had 60 miles to bike today and a 22 mph headwind so I took off nice and early. I was pleased with improved scenery as I biked next the Mississippi River with the cliffs and rolling hills surrounding this massive river. As a previous river guide on the Colorado River, I only thought the Colorado was a large river. I have been slightly unimpressed by much of the Mississippi with overwhelming unpleasant smells (dead animals, swampy smells, factories etc.) and the overall rundown sights.
By 12:00 I had surprisingly reached a town 13 miles outside of my destination and phoned Jen (my couchsurfing host for the evening). She told me the awful news that her father had recently passed away unexpectedly and while staying with her was still an option I decided to make a back up plan. After the news I needed some time to think of a new plan and relief from the wind. I found a mom and pop greasy spoon cafe for lunch and braved the lunch fare. I had a great conversation with the next table next to me. On their way out, Steve stopped and asked if he could pray for me. I obliged not knowing he would start praying right then and there - it was slightly awkward but sweet. I went to pay for my lunch and the waitress told me the group had picked up my tab. I had no idea when making my budget that so many people would randomly pick up my tabs.
After lunch I uncharacteristically went on a different route than my cycling maps which shaved off some miles while compromising some scenic views. I biked 18 miles past my intended destination to hopefully stay with a different couchsurfer (Drew). It was a tough decision because I could not get a hold of Drew and I had no idea if he could host me for the night. I chose to risk it and biked all the way to Red Wing bypassing the adorable town Lake City where Jen lives. I made the right choice because when I arrived in Red Wing Drew finally returned my phone call and happily offered his place for me stay.
After nine hours of biking I thoroughly enjoyed my warm shower. After some yummy Mexican food, Drew generously gave me a tour of the red brick building downtown and headed to the local coffee shop. We enjoyed some drinks and listened to the live blue grass band. They even let me jump in and play one song as seen in the photo (just kidding - I don't know how to play the mandolin). We had a great night and I was super happy that Drew hosted me at the last minute.