Day 42: Crookston to Fosston - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 12, 2021

Day 42: Crookston to Fosston

Not done with the wind just yet

“Kristin Armstrong would be proud, we could do Chocolate Milk commercials just like her,” Rachel says. Kristin is a two time Olympic gold medalist in cycling that lives in Boise. She did commercials riding her bike and then drinking chocolate milk. This does seem to be the drink of choice for cyclists….that and beer. We are still trying to get on the good side of the wind by giving a toast “to the wind” each day.

At 6am our enthusiasm for breakfast is a bit dimmer than yesterday’s. We are used to eating lightly to get going and then hope for a second breakfast later on. Today there will be more towns. We check out of the hotel and start riding with a destination of either Fosston or Bagley. Depending upon the wind.

We get a text from Robert Ferrari (Cycling the Northern Tier with a purpose on the other site) who is now further south than us on the Lake Wobegon Trail. He mentioned that when he stayed at the abbey in Richardton, the monks mentioned that for 60 years they’ve watched the weather and this is the most that they’ve seen of the wind coming from the east. Great.

Today is a strong southerly wind and the road is angling southeast. The wide shoulder continues with the constant divots about 30 feet apart. And plenty of cracks that have grass and weeds growing in them. There is more road construction. It starts with warning of two way traffic ahead. Again we ride on the closed road section, with varying success and surfaces. Parts of the road are finished with smooth surfaces, then the closed road switches to the other side and we ride on packed dirt. Until we reach where the road crew is working and tearing up the road and we have to move back to the two way traffic side.

Our only choice is to ride on the shoulder of the oncoming traffic for going in our direction is only a rumble strip. The wind is helping to keep us from being sweltering hot, the humidity sure has been ticking up. Every so often, trees planted close to the road act as wind breaks.

The construction ends and we are back to our side of the road, riding on the shoulder with constant dips. We stop at the next gas station for a Popsicle. It’s so much easier to break the ride down into shorter goals, seeing a distance road sign, we make it to the next town 4 miles away, then the next one 11 miles away, finally the town that was 29 miles away. By the time we reach Fosston, the wind is gaining strength and we decide to call it a day. We’ve been on a gradual slow climb out of glacial lake basin, Lake Agassiz that once was the largest glacial lake and why this region is so fertile

The city park is nice with plenty of trees to provide shelter from the wind. There’s a restroom and shower and the tent site is only $5. It is easily 5 to 10 degrees cooler on the lawn and under the trees. The wind blows though! We relax, read our books and Patrick walks back to the supermarket for a chicken dinner.

Tomorrow, the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

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Figuring out where the beer is sold in a new state.
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Scott AndersonTook me awhile too. Wierd.
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2 months ago
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Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 1,713 miles (2,757 km)

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David AndrewsLoving following along! I am in Moorhead now and will head up to Bemidji/Walker from here. I am thinking about going off of the ACA route and to Lake Superior (Beaver Bay) to meet a friend. Are you going to head south to Minneapolis? Or stay north and hit Duluth and the Lake? Here's to more tailwinds!
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensHi David!
We are in bagley heading south to lake itasca campground, headwaters of Mississippi. Tomorrow we go to bemidji and a rest day the next day. Then we go on the paul Bunyan trail to brainerd! More later, second breakfast just arrived. Would be great to meet up
racpat
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo David AndrewsStopping one night in Hackensack on the pbt. From Brsinerd we will go around lake to Isle. Then straight across to Danbury WI. Well not go to Minneapolis. In WI, if you look at the map Part 2 you'll see our route, almost all on rail to trails. Maybe we meet in bemidji!
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo David AndrewsHi, we are in Bemidji, last night in Itasca SP we didn't have internet. Where are you now?
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2 months ago
David AndrewsHi! I am in Park Rapids eating and then eating some more. About to hop on the Heartland trail to Walker. From Walker I am going to get as close to Grand Rapids as possible. From Grand Rapids I will hit the Mesabi Trail (just learned about it today) and head for big ol' Lake Superior. I would come say hi in Bemidji but I am hoping to get to Beaver Bay (near Twin Harbors) by Friday afternoon to meet my friend. Looking forward to following your journey. Next summer I'd love to finish the second half of the Northern Tier!
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo David AndrewsLast year we had planned a loop ride around Minnesota and Mesabi was one of the trails we would have done. Sorry to miss meeting you. Have a great journey and if you are ever coming through Boise ID look us up through warmshowers.

I have the PDFs of the trails if you'd like, and could email them to you.
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2 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo David Andrewsemail racpat_rtw@yahoo.com
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2 months ago