Minnesconsin

One more comment about the Moose Lake brewery: they have probably the best nut brown ale I’ve ever had. Just don’t feed the loudmouth and you’ll have a great time.

We had a killer breakfast at the lazy moose: wild rice + mushroom omelette, along with wild rice and candied pecan pancakes. 6 thumbs up.

As we headed north along more glorious paved bike path, the weather got cooler and the terrain got a bit more mountainous. By the time we got lunch in outer Duluth, it was downright chilly.

the bridge to superior

We got the red carpet treatment at the Thirsty Pagan brewery in Superior. Lots of good advice, and the owner even gave us free bike jerseys.

I celebrated our entry into Wisconsin by making a bee-line for some Culver’s frozen custard – it’s no Strickland’s, but it’s pretty dang good. Had a wet ride to a state park and nestled down for the evening.

more to come!

The mosquitoes. Are. Awful

We stopped briefly near the fire department museum in Rush City to snack, and to remind ourselves that Devo is a great band.  From Rush City we continued northward.  In Pine City, we made camp lunch at a picnic table in front of City Hall. An 18 year old in a giant pickup truck showed off the acceleration of his vehicle several times, presumably for our benefit. We rode through Hinkley, Sturgeon Lake, and eventually settled into a municipal campground on the shore of Moose Lake. Important showers were had. “The mosquitoes. Are. Awful,” said the camp host, and he was telling the truth.  
The Moose Lake Community Band rocked the amphitheater in the park to the delight of a dozen octogenarians, while a lone 12 year old girl spun mindlessly on a merry-go-round in an attempt to stay awake. 
We ate pizza at Poor Garys while debating how poor Gary actually is. Then, like bums often do, we ended the night at a local brewery. 
At the brewery, we met a local man who aired out every opinion he’s ever conceived in the course of 2 hours.  From him, we learned about Duluth (he hates it), taxation (hates it), square cut pizza (hates it), hot sauce (loves it), and heteronormativity (loves it.)

One day down

We got a great start yesterday. Rolled out of Minneapolis on its amazing bike infrastructure. It was all bike lanes and cycle paths for at least 30 miles. We already ran into other cycle tourists – one guy was in his 60s, going solo from Washington to Maine, and averaging over 70 miles a day! Overall it was just a full day of really pleasant, easy riding. We ended up camping on the Saint Croix River, at a site that would have been perfect except for the crack force of mosquito commandos the patrolled the area. I knew we wouldn’t make it through the north woods without getting a few bites, but I guess I forgot how aggressive Midwestern mosquitos are compared to their western counterparts.

Samoa donuts!?

Got some rain last night, but thankfully it didn’t start until we were snug in the tents and stopped just as we got up. We skipped making breakfast given that we would likely eat less than we would be eaten, and instead grabbed some pastries from the bakery in (sugar) Rush City.

Zach patiently waited

Perfect way to start the trip: I was all excited, ready to go, with my bike all packed up. I got on BART to head to the airport, and casually started checking in to my flight – but it kept rejecting me. That’s when I realized my 11:59pm flight was not for Friday night, but Saturday. Whoops. I skulked back home and hopped online to log into my weekly dungeons and dragons sesh with my college buds, but instead of rolling dice we just spent 3 hours lamenting the terrible state of the world (with a brief side quest contrasting the qualities of Pee-Wee Herman vs Ed Grimly).

It’s all going to work out fine, just instead of a relaxing day bumming around the twin cities, I’m just going to hit the pavement running tomorrow. Bums on!

bike on BART