Day 40: Michigan ND to East Grand Forks MN - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 10, 2021

Day 40: Michigan ND to East Grand Forks MN

We like this type of road construction

“What a great bike lane,” Patrick says referring to closed two lanes due to road construction. Yesterday when the man from Grand Forks mentioned the construction, we were prepared to go south around Grand Forks.

We have forgotten what it’s like to cycle without the wind. Gone too are the little lakes along the side of the road, and the surrounding horizon is full of trees. We make good time to Arvilla when we see the first “road construction ahead” signs. It’s so early, and with the wind in our favor, we skip staying at Turtle River State Park and continue on to Red River State Park in East Grand Forks. This is a better position to reach Crookston early tomorrow for the final of the Euro 2020.

At Arvilla, the dual carriageway narrowed down to two way traffic on our side of the road. With the wide shoulder, we stayed on this side until after we passed where the construction crew is working today. “There are all the asphalt trucks that passed us today.” Patrick says. We then move over to the closed road for the last 17 miles into Grand Forks. Construction workers who see us, pretend they didn’t. One section a culvert is being worked on and we navigate around the crane and equipment. We reach a road crew under a bridge, and the foreman explains for us to watch out for the new concrete that is drying, and we kept going.

The last bit into Grand Forks is on a bike path for a little while, then we cross the bridge over the Red River and into Minnesota. The Red River Recreation area and Sherlock Campground is just past the bridge. This area flooded in 1997, and reclaimed into a beautiful park. The flood destroyed over 600 single family homes, 30 businesses and rental properties. The campground still has the streets and sidewalks from the old town. There are over 21 miles of bike paths on both sides of the river, known as the Greenway. 

After dinner we explore the waterfront. We walk across a bridge to Grand Forks back into North Dakota looking for ice cream but find only bars and grills. The same happens on the Minnesota side. The campground is very quiet until the ice cream truck comes around! Well worth listening to the nonstop jingle for a good magnum ice cream bar.

Our plan is a short ride tomorrow and get to Crookston early.

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Patrick finds another treasure
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What a bike lane!
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Bike path through Grand Forks to East Grand Forks and the Red River Sherlock campground
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Simplot, Boise Idaho
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Across the Red River and into Minnesota
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Monument that has the dates of the floods and flood levels
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Today's ride: 54 miles (87 km)
Total: 1,642 miles (2,643 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 11
Gregory GarceauHi there Racpats,

I've been watching your tour but I haven't commented yet. I thought it was cool that you took the old ACA route across northern North Dakota. Now you're in MY State -- Minnesota -- I'm curious as to what route you'll be following. If you get anywhere near the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, don't be surprised if I show up on a bike and interrupt your tour like I did to Scott & Rachel and Buddy & Doc.
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensHi Gregory,
That would be awesome to meet up with you!! Keep the tradition going!
We are now in Crookston, in a hotel so Patrick can watch the EuroCup 2020 final.
The route is published under maps, basically Crookston to Itasca SP in two days. Then to Beminji one day and a rest day. Then the Paul Bunyan trail to Hackesack, next day to Brainerd.
From Brainerd, to Onamie to Isle on the Soo Line trail (one day), then straight across to Danbury WI to the Gandy Dancer Trail south.
Join us anywhere along the route!!
Also, we are open to suggestions if you see something amiss with the route.
Racpat
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Gregory GarceauFrom Danbury we will go South to pick up several more rails to trails, La Crosse, Elroy-Sparta, 400 trail....
Racpat
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Rachel and Patrick HugensBe careful what you open your door to folks, and especially beware if you see the Feeshko lurking nearby with a large handbag. She’ll load down your panniers with everything she can cram in there: fruit, carbs, electrolytes, the works. Better mail home any extra license plates and hand tools now to free up some space.
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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Rachel and Patrick HugensOh yes, I'm pretty familiar with all of your route. Itasca State Park is a big plus. Minneapolis-St. Paul would be too, but I can understand if you want to avoid that area at this time. Gandy Dancer is great if you like a lot of trees. (I call them view-blockers.) It was pretty gravelly when I rode it on my mountain bike several years ago.

And pay no attention to Scott's warning. The Feeshko (my wife) will take great care of you whether you like it or not. Whatever goodies Scott & Rachel rejected, The Feeshko made me carry in my pannier in case they changed their minds.
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Gregory GarceauThanks Gregory,
Any suggestions on camping along the Paul Bunyan?
These are the Rail Trails we want to connect with...
#40 Gandy Dancer ST Danbury to St Croix Falls

St. Croix Falls to Menomonie to #33 Junction Trail 3mi

#35 Chippewa River ST 38.5mi to #57 Red Cedar St 14.5mi to Durand

Continue South on US 25 to Great River Road US 35 to Alma-Cochrane-Fountain City (CG Merrick SP) to Marshland

#43 Great River Trail 24mi Marshland to La Crosse (Onalaska)

#45 La Crosse River Trail 21mi to Sparta

#47 Elroy Sparta Trail 33.8mi to Elroy

# 38 400 Trail 22.3mi to Reedsburg then turn East to Baraboo(Continue South to Dodgeville US 23)

#48 Military Ridge Trail 40mi to Fitchburg to #33 Capital City Trail 17mi to Lower Yahara River Trail 2.6mi to Cottage Grove

#41 Glacial Drumlin Trail Cottage Grove to Jefferson (ALT continue on trail to Waukesha to New Berlin Recreation Trail 7mi into Milwaukee) North to Juneau
#42 Glacial River Trail Jefferson to Juneau/Clyman

#62 Wild Goose ST 34.4mi Clyman to Fond du Lac
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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauWhen I rode the Paul Bunyan Trail I saw many wild camping opportunities if you're open to that. I held out for Crow Wing State Park south of Brainerd but it sounds like you might be turning off before that. I liked that park after a long day.

https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/nocomplaints/six-hours-on-the-paul-bunyan-trail-told-in-eight-haikus-and-twelve-pictures/

I rode the Gandy Dancer on my mountain bike several years ago. It was quite gravelly at that time. Again, there were many places you could pull off the trail and camp in the woods.

Just south of St. Croix Falls is Interstate State Park, which is a great place to camp. But just across the St. Croix River is Minnesota's version of the Interstate State Park and it's even better. It has riverside sites, but they are harder to obtain.


https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/nocomplaints/the-right-and-the-left-sides-of-the-st-croix-river/

https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/goingup/an-odyssey-among-a-sea-of-cows/

I rode some of the Great River Trail out of La Crosse on my "Going Up" tour, but never thought about camping. I have yet to do the Elroy-Sparta Trail, but I can tell you to be careful while peeing along that route. My brother did just that and got a serious case of poison ivy. Fluid was squirting out of the blisters on his legs.
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Gregory GarceauFantastic information !! Thanks! Will check out the links....

Racpat
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThe Feeshko is the best! You are so lucky!
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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Rachael AndersonThanks Rocky. You're the best too!
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Gregory GarceauGiven Rocky was my nickname in college ....I hope to meet all of you sometime.
Rachel
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2 months ago