Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 25, Welcome to Minnesota

BEST: Ice cream at mile 41 in Brookings at the SDSU ice cream store. Flavor was Chocolate Marshmallow.

WORST: Roads in Minnesota. The tagline for Minnesota is Land of a Thousand Lakes, but after riding on the road I would change it to the Land of a thousand cracks and potholes.

MOST UNEXPECTED: Passing through a giant wind farm after crossing into Minnesota. The wind generators went for 8 miles along the road, and easily 6 miles in each direction. It is not a good thing to be riding a bike along a road which has permanent wind generators. (hint, there must be a lot of wind)

Last night we went downtown to have dinner inside Wards store (picture) which was Lasagna. Tonight we will also be having Lasagna. They must think we are a bunch of Italians on this ride. On the way to dinner, we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder houses which included the Surveyor house where they spent their first winter (moved to the City from Silver Lake), her first school (moved from another location) A reproduction of a school she taught in, and the house that Pa built Ma after Laura had already married and moved away. Along the main street in town all of the businesses had signs which described their connection to Laura. For instance, This is where Laura played with her best friend Mary, or, this is where Laura hugged a toilet after a night of karaoke and too much drinking. I think you get the idea. Tourist bait!

This morning we took off for a 78 mile ride after a very windy night. The forecast was for thundershowers but we only had sprinkles from time to time and not enough to put on a jacket. Pretty easy flat ride with a strong to medium side wind. We stopped in Brooking and had our lunch stop, and then went around the corner to a bike store and ice cream shop. SDSU is not San Diego State, it is South Dakota State University. My scoop of ice cream almost broke the bank at $1 plus tax. Again lots of road kill with an entire family of squirrels wiped out. "ma, where are you.....splat. Ma and pa where are you....splat.

I did notice signs indicating the crops were being used for biodiesel and ethanol, and we passed a soybean processing plant, so I need to correct yesterday's observation to note that the crops we see are not only for livestock but for alternative fuels.

There are about 2000 different types of corn being raised, and I have included one picture showing all of the different hybrids from just one company. Another section of the road had a company with easily 40 different signs up which I did not take a picture of due to noticing it too late.

You will have to tell me if you prefer the picture of me, or the Climber Pouch at the sign entering Minnesota. This happened at mile 61 today. At mile 64 I saw my first house in Minnesota which was the white house below. Pretty impressive start. Then we saw our first lake and some hills and I thought here we go, a change in terrain. A mile later we were back to the cornfields again.

We rolled into Tyler around 1:00 and set up, then walked down the street to the bar. (picture below). I had one beer, a tuna melt, got the sour bartender to finally smile, and then walked back to the high school in which we are staying the night in the cafeteria with no air conditioning.

Other pictures below include a wood cabin from a hundred years ago in Brookings, and a class picture from the graduation class of 1971 which shows we all looked the same. I also noted a change in the house styles in Minnesota which include mudrooms on the front of the house. I included one shot of the houses outside the school. I am looking forward to finishing the last of our six rides in a row tomorrow with a stay in New Ulm.

1 comment:

  1. I like the picture of you with the MN sign. And I'm curious what you had to do to get the sour bartender to smile...