Day 48: Brainerd to Isle - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 18, 2021

Day 48: Brainerd to Isle

Secondary roads to the Soo Line Trail

“Great blueberry pancakes!” we thank Matt for getting up early to make us breakfast and see us off. We said goodbye to Jonathan last night, so he is sleeping in this morning.

We make our way to CR2, this road is more rolling, but nice that we get some “free” miles coasting. There’s not much along the road and even at the town of Pine Central there is only a bar that’s still closed. Even the vending machine on the porch doesn’t work. We take a break in the park, trying to find shade while we have a lunch. It is getting hot. 

We stay on Highway 2 until a T junction to Highway 169 and we see the Mille Lacs Lake. This road does have wide a shoulder but is busy, busy, busy with traffic. We turn off on Shakeopee road that passes Katio State Park and meanders around another lake. This is very nice way into Onamie. We were hoping for a shop for something cold to drink, but this side of town didn’t have much and we take a break in shelter at the Soo Line trailhead. The old train station is now a library and it is closed.

Once on the trail and not too much further into town we see stores. The trail is rough in section but paved, and there is an unpaved ATV trail is next to it. The problem is dust when a ATVs pass us. This is the most direct route from Onamie to Isle though.

In Wakhon, we stop at their park and have popsicle and chocolate milk….thick chocolate milk. The trail surface improves from here to Isle. We shop for dinner supplies and head to Father Hennepin State Park Campground. The Park is 320 acres of hardwood forest and sandy beaches and named in honor of Father Louis Hennepin. He wrote about the area in 1680 while on an expedition for King Louis XIV of France. This is a beautiful area. We find a nice shaded site in the forest, then enjoy our potato chips and about a gallon of lemonade. Later we fix Mongolian beef stir fry for dinner.

We have been pleasantly surprised in Minnesota: the mosquitos have not been nearly as bad as we had thought. The ongoing drought probably has something to do with that. 

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Park in Pine Central
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Onamie Creamery Co-op, of days gone by?
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Soo Line Trail, and next to it a dirt path for ATVs
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Today's ride: 54 miles (87 km)
Total: 1,965 miles (3,162 km)

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