Day 66 Grand Rapids to Cloquet, Minnesota: La La Palooza (and other sundaes) - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

July 5, 2011

Day 66 Grand Rapids to Cloquet, Minnesota: La La Palooza (and other sundaes)

With the flat road and tail or cross wind we just cruised down the road without a care (except for quite heavy traffic, but then we also had a wide shoulder).

We stopped at the post office in Warba to send Avi and Violet birthday cards. We ignored the no bicycle riding rule to achieve this!
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Recession in Warba
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The slice of sunburn corresponds to the tear in Dodie's Pearl Izumi sun sleeve. Imagine the whole arm, if unprotected.
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This is a photo of a photo that is part of the decor at a truck stop restaurant we passed through.
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A strange flooded forest.
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I told Dodie to "Go soak your head." (it works)
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Floodwood downtown. Floodwood is apparently the "Catfish Capital of the World"
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The easy cycling caused me to start philosophizing about the difference between adventure and fun. Adventure can include anything at all - snakes, cold, heat, etc. etc. but fun has to be just FUN. FUN is restricted to things that are downhill, cool, breezy, and that have a chocolate milkshake in there somewhere. At least, that's what my book says.

So can adventure be fun? No, not generally. It can turn in to fun, but it can not per se be fun. Is a cross country bike ride fun? No, it is adventure. However, it can take a weird twist and suddenly (if temporarily) turn in to fun.

So that is what happened this morning. First we have the dangerously fun like flat road, tailwind, overcast sky with no threat of rain, and wide shoulder. Then after 60 km that we scarcely noticed we arrived at Floodwood by lunchtime. Floodwood has gas stations and stuff along the highway, but we took the turn for the "business district", which is the classic one block long affair. There we stumbled into Bridgeman's Ice Cream, which is 1/2 ice cream parlor and 1/2 restaurant. The place was cool and breezy (fun criterion #2!) and featured not only a waitress (Lorraine) who is everyone's image of "grandma" but also a promise that everything in the place is home made.

Here Dodie finally got her ideal comfort food meat loaf and (real) mashed potatoes and I got real grilled chicken slices on a real salad. Then, the raspberry hot fudge sundae and the hot fudge banana split. So like I say, this cycling "adventure" has now deteriorated into cycling "fun"! Maybe, with any (bad) luck we will be able to resume this adventure narrative soon!

Bridgeman's!
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Bridgeman's inside
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Bridegeman's keeps their promise
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Lorraine, our waitress
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Dodie's was the raspberry sundae while I chose the hot fudge banana split (bananas are good for cyclists!)
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Homemade cookies, just part of a totally homemade tour de force
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Dodie is having fun!
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We stopped in to a bar/gas station (this is not Canada) along the highway for some time in the shade, and of course answered UQs for all the found-ins, which was the young bar keeper, a young couple, and an old man. The young couple advised us on the best way in to Duluth with our objective of the zoo in mind. This involved leaving trusty highway 2, but we took them up on it.

This lady from Texas passed us in the other direction while we were stopped for a drink and turned around to see if we needed any help!
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The new route had some long hills that were pretty tiring. By the time we reached Cloquet, we were still about 30 km from the zoo area. We crossed the wide St. Louis River and Dodie spotted a sign for a city park. It turned out to be a lovely spot by the river, and for $10 we are sitting in an uncrowded grassy park, with firewood ($4) and kindling.

The park hosts,Marlene and Jim, were very friendly and helpful. They said they saw us coming over the bridge and thought "those folks ought to camp here". It was our good luck (or sense) that did bring us in. The less lucky or sensible of us was all in favour of barging on into the unknown.

The hosts have also directed us to a rail trail that starts in nearby Carlton and allows a downhill coast all the way into Duluth. So this stop has turned out to be doubly good, even fun!

The bridge over the St. Louis at Cloquet
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A mill by the river in Cloquet
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Marlene and Jim, park hosts at Spafford Park. Very nice, and helpful.
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Our spot in Spafford Park
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A view from our tent.
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Today's ride: 115 km (71 miles)
Total: 3,864 km (2,400 miles)

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