Rain Delay 2.0+ - 12X26 - CycleBlaze

August 28, 2021

Rain Delay 2.0+

When we arrived in Alexandria MN on Thursday evening we read the following on a sign at the city limits, Alexandria, Easy to Find, Difficult to Leave.  With the use of GPS, Alexandria was quite easy to find but it will not be difficult to move on but it will definitely remain memorable.  We had planned 2 nights with the goal of completing 103 miles on the combined Central Lakes and Lake Wobegon trails.  The weather has trashed that plan.

Last evening the forecast looked very good.  This morning everything changed.  Woke to a very thick fog with heavy rain and severe thunderstorm within the hour.

10:30 AM. So much darker than it appears. Everyone was driving with headlights.
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And then the rain.
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Had a leisurely breakfast and waited.  It cleared at 1:30 and I was off with a goal of getting 41 miles in between Evansville and Sauk Centre.

Biking down the trail it occurred to me the Central Lakes Trail had a recurring anatomy.  There were 7 small towns located every 5-10 miles.  Each town had a trailhead that had a small open sided shelter, a trail sign and a grain elevator.  It was easy to know when a town was coming up.  The grain elevators were generally visible half mile down the trail.

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The grain elevators speak to the role of agriculture present and past.

There are increasing signs of Fall and the ever present rolling hills.

A favorite time of year.
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Never get tired of the landscape.
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With about 350 miles in the rearview mirror, I had anticipated I would see many folks on the trail.  I have certainly seen clusters of young families biking and couples walking but almost exclusively in the vicinity of the few larger communities the trails have passed through.  Today I saw two guys clearly bikepacking and would have loved to have heard about their adventure...but they were headed west as I was headed east.

Not only did today's ride start late but also ended prematurely.   I arrived in Osakis, 14 miles to go, when I was welcomed by recurring thunder.  Accuweather was calling for steady rain in 1 minute.  Time to stow the bike in the back of the truck...again.

I am very fortunate to have Laura providing support for this crazy adventure.  On previous trips we have been able to locate lodging near the trail that enabled me to ride in and out and allowed Laura to pursue a parallel itinerary.  Given the limited accommodations in the rural communities along the trails so far and the recent stormy weather have both contributed to the challenge.  Fingers crossed as we get ready to move further east in the next couple of days.

Today's ride: 29 miles (47 km)
Total: 786 miles (1,265 km)

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