Day 1: Mississippi River and dodging storms - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 5, 2016

Day 1: Mississippi River and dodging storms

I learned my lesson. Never listen to a farmer about the weather, but I'll get to that in minute

It was time to hit the road and since I am following in the footsteps of Hucklberry Finn, in spirit, I needed to head to the headwaters of the Mississippi River. So I headed north from Park Rapids to Lake Itasca State Park.

In truth the headwaters are more like a little stream that flows out of a biggish lake, not so much how I imagine rivers to start, but I suppose it doesnt matter, the start is the start.

The spot itself is more like Disney Land than a peaceful flowing stream.

The headwaters of the Mississippi River. Looks more like Disneyland crowd wise.
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The guy on the left looks like he is sorry he didnt bring his cell phone
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Though this guy seems to be enjoying himself in Lake Itasca
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After that I had a decision to make. Should I ride on the bemidji or stay put in the Lake Itasca campground? I was ready to go but concerned about the weather. The report looked okay but the skies look ominous. So I asked a local who said, "they say it shouldnt do more than sprinkle".

So she looked at the forcast on her iphone like I did. I decided to head out.

A few miles past the park it started to get dark and stopped to ask an expert, a farmer who was on his tractor that had some kind of think on the back that did something with hay that I couldnt quite figure out but what does it matter since I dont have a horse. Anyway he was finishing a row and close so I asked his thoughts on the weather

Farmer: "I don't think this is going to amount to much. You should br okay."

Me: "It looks a little dark over there. Do you think it will blow over."

Farmer: "No at the most it will be a sprinkled"

Reasured, off I went. A few miles down the road the heavens opened and the sky lit up with lightning. Stupid farmers!

There was no place to hide so I kept going. About 20 minutes later things calmed and I thought I was off the hook, until another squall came in. That happened two more times until finally the sun came out. It reminded me of Scotland, actually, though not as cold.

I rolled into town around 7pm and felt I deserved a nice hoteld. Of course I did!

In the end I was glad I went. It was tough for a while but pretty in the end. I am going better than I expected and my legs feel good, considering. So, I suppose it was better that the farmer was wrong and I didnt know what I was getting into.

I just won't tel my mom about the lightning.

Tomorrow I head south on the Paul Bunyan trail

Doah! During the last squall I found a garage overhang to hide out in
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Though the sunny momets were pretty
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Huckleberry Finn would have had trouble rafting on this stretch of the river
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More prettiness after the storm
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Today's ride: 66 miles (106 km)
Total: 66 miles (106 km)

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