Day 47: Pine River to Brainerd - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2021

Day 47: Pine River to Brainerd

Day two on the Paul Bunyan Trail

“I know a great breakfast place about 45 minutes away,” Andy says. When we first crossed 371 from the campground there was a cyclist on the opposite side of the road. He crossed over to talk with us and then we continue back to the Paul Bunyan Trail.

The PBT is the 1893 rail bed of the Burlington Northern, 123 miles to Crow Wing. Towns along the way have histories with the railroad and timber industry. Prior to the Railroad, the Ojibwe and Dakota American Indians lived in the region. We cycle through boreal forests, by lakes and streams, and see meadows with wildflowers along the path.

Then a cyclist comes up behind us and it is Andy again. He was originally heading to Hackensack for a day ride, but decided he’d rather cut his trip short ride along with us back to Brainerd. He and his wife Susie have toured on their recumbent bikes, though Susie isn’t keen on camping, hills or rain. He has many questions for us as we ride along. When we reach Nisswa, we stop at the café and he treats us to a second breakfast. As we get closer to Brainerd Andy leads us off the bike trail onto a busy road, then through some neighborhoods to his house in the Northeast part of the town.  His wife Susie is home and fixes us some cold treats: a root beer float for Rachel and iced coffee for Patrick. After a short visit, Andy escorts us through Brainerd and onto the road we need to get to our Warmshowers host.

The Coopers live about 7 miles south of town amidst dense hardwood forests. Their driveway disappears into the trees towards a beautiful garden and a nice house. Jonathan, their son, is hosting us at this parents’ house.  Both he and his sister have bicycle toured and are hosting cyclists. After settling into our room and cleaning up we drive back to town to have some Mexican appetizers and a huge pint of DosEquis.  John’s mother and sisters are not home, but his dad, Matt fixes some nice brats for dinner.

John is considering another biketour adventure and to make his decision even harder we show him some of our RTW slideshows on the big screen TV. Matt says he’ll fix us blueberry pancakes in the morning.

We’ve still not heard anything about Yedi, and fear that he is lost for good.

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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like Michigan lily. Neat flowers!

https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/michigan-lily
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2 months ago
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Andy catches us with us
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Paul Bunyan's footprint
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Andy and Susie
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Root Beer Floats and Iced coffee
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To the road to our Warmshowers Host
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Matt in the garden
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The old Burlington Northern Factory
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Jonathon
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Enjoying a beer in the garden
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Yedi
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Today's ride: 37 miles (60 km)
Total: 1,911 miles (3,075 km)

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