Little Falls, Minnesota to Alice's Attic: Deja Vu All Over Again - Minnesota Matrimonial Evaluation Tour - CycleBlaze

June 30, 2017

Little Falls, Minnesota to Alice's Attic: Deja Vu All Over Again

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Today was a big learning day, but a measly riding day. When one travels 35 miles and takes 6 hours and 4 minutes to do it, you are not putting hammer and tongs to the pedals. Average speed today counting down time? 5.8 miles per hour. Wonder what our heart rate was? I would wager that we actually gained weight today. But this was all according to plan, pinky swear.

Last night the interweb weather said the day was looking good except for a window between 2 – 4 PM where there was a chance of scattered thunderstorms. Knowing that today’s ride was going to be a mere sub-40 we figured we could easily avoid that and do some sightseeing. The distance that remains to reach the car could have been tackled in two days, but we want to spend our last night at the Cycling Bunkhouse in Dalbo (did I mention that in last night’s journal? I think I did) and slicing the remainder into three small rides works well, and gave us the chance to avoid the potential weather today.

The motel we stayed in last night had, hands down, the World’s Greatest Breakfast Buffet. Most of the prior motels have offered Continental Breakfasts that must have been referencing the continent of Africa, more specifically Somalia, because they had some of the most unpalatable food imaginable. You’ve seen them, right? What are those eggs made of anyway, plastic? Not today’s spread. When we walked in Margaret said, “Mike, check it out” and motioned toward a big tub of REAL yogurt with a large bowl of granola sitting nearby. I almost wept in delight. Bawling out loud, tears of joy, Hallelujah Brother wave your hands in the air say “YEAH!” kind of delight. I have been fantasizing about eating yogurt the entire trip and I indulged to the tune of four bowls and nearly all the granola on hand.

Oh, that reminds me of a moment we experienced in the breakfast area of yesterday’s motel, in Pequot Lakes. There were only three other people eating, together … one guy who looked to be our age (late 50’s, a young woman who I took to be his daughter, and a child who was probably the woman’s son. We took a seat in another section of the breakfast area that was open to, but still a bit separate from, those people. There was a TV blaring the morning news (Fox News I think) near us and Margaret found the remote to turn it off. Right after she did, the older guy grunted, “Hey I was watching that don’t you know?” Interesting. So, Marg turned it back on. He was sitting in a spot where he would have to lean forward and crane his head to his right to see the TV, and prior to that moment was talking with the young lady who was sitting directly in front of him. After he said this to Marg his companions left and he then proceeded to speak to someone on the phone, not looking at nor likely listening to the TV at all. He spent most of his call complaining about how his current sleep apnea machine “wasn’t worth a damn.” Marg noted that his sudden demand that she leave the TV turned on was just a way for him to exert his “power” in the world, and I agree. I have been acquainted with a handful of men like this. They are not worth the bother to be irked about.

We performed the morning routine which by now is completely rote. Load the rigs, sweep the room for forgotten items, leave the key cards at the desk, really hope someone is in the lobby to gawk at you wheeling your bike out the door (Well, that’s me, not Marg. She could care less about being noticed. I’m much more emotionally needy and crave the attention of strangers) and start the days ride.

On the way out of town an elderly driver almost gave Margaret the dreaded “right hook” knock-down. That’s where a car that is behind you passes and fails to give you right of way, instead executing a right hand turn directly in front of you, causing you to ram into the car. Fortunately we were traveling pretty slowly, as was the driver. He looked very old and it obviously never entered his mind that he should let us pass first. Hell, he may not have even seen us. It wasn't quite the closest of all calls but it was an “Oh Shit!” moment.

Four miles down the road we made a planned stop at C. A. Lindbergh State Park to see the childhood home of Charles Lindbergh, the famed aviator. The park is actually named after Lindbergh’s father. We did not know it until we stopped, but the Minnesota State Historical Society has a museum here and gives guided tours of the home. Both were amazing! The small museum was loaded with information and a real trove of Lindbergh’s personal items. Marg and I were the only people taking the tour and the guide was a local fellow who was top notch and really knew his stuff. Fascinating stories and he guided us through the entire house which had at least one interesting anecdote for every room. If you are around there you should stop. We would do it again in a heartbeat.

The Dope on the Lindbergh Historical Home Site
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Mike poses next to a chain saw sculpture in the park.
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The Historic Home. We had a great tour guide show us around.
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After dropping anchor at the state park for 90 minutes we spun another 11 miles down to Bowlus, Minnesota which represented the point at which we will be repeating miles already ridden, only now in reverse. More good Juju for us on the day’s ride was that it started to sprinkle about three miles from Bowlus. When we arrived in town we took a couple pictures, Marg mailed her art cards at the post office and we ensconced ourselves back at Jordie’s trailside café to soak in more of its magical feel and food.

Where do you want to go? I can get you there from here.
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Marg mails off a couple art cards.
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After sitting around there for 10 minutes we started hearing thunder in the distance. We opted for the buffet they serve (all home made!) and when I emerged from the main building to walk to our table in the outdoor dining area it was raining hard! Thunderstorm hard. The weather gods opted to not drench us today, and instead we ate a great lunch under the open air dining pavilion with our bikes similarly sheltered and dry. Yahtzee. After another average-miles-per-hour killing 90 minute stop the storm passed and we took off in the sunshine with the storm clouds and thunder preceding us off to the east.

Just one slice of the magical garden at Jordie's TRailside Cafe.
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.... and a little free library.
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No more then 15 minutes after we arrived, the skies opened up and a good drenching took place.
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After the storm passed we hitched on as its caboose and followed it east.
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Nearly 20 miles later we rolled back into Alice’s Attic, where we had spent our first night on this trip. It was exciting to be back and right now we are the only cyclists here, at 4:40 PM. Alice had emailed us to tell us we could let ourselves into the barn and that she would be working until midnight tonight (she’s a nurse). We know the drill here though, so we’re right at home.

Casa Alice's Attic
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A converted grain silo now a sitting room
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How Margaret passed some time last night.
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We are sitting in an old corn silo that Alice has turned into an open air sitting room. There is a gentle breeze blowing, and the sun is shining although the thunder can be heard booming off in the distance. Since we’re here now, we don’t care what the weather decides to do. After dinner we’ll do a bike bottle shower and hit the hay in the barn. This truly is living.

We weren't exactly crushing it.
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Rose: Marg – Arriving back at Alice’s Attic. Mike – Lindbergh State Park tour

Thorn: Marg – She did not have a thorn today! Mike – Same here! No thorns.

Bud: Marg - Going to the Dalbo Bunkhouse. Mike – Staying at the Bunkhouse tomorrow night

Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 619 miles (996 km)

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