End of the James gang - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

End of the James gang

It was the best of shoulers, it was the worst of shoulders. After a 4 hour rain delay (bad habit #1), we set off on Minnesota rt 60, which was loaded with cars and heavy trucks, and under construction. There was little to no place to safely ride, and we tried the patience of truck drivers who had to come to a crawl behind us until we came to a space on the side to pull over and let them pass.

Pouring rain and lots of lightning at our 7:30 departure time. We went from asking for an early breakfast to asking for a late check-out waiting for the rain to stop.
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But within a few miles, we came to some giant piles of dirt. It turned out 90% of the truck traffic was involved in the road construction. Empty dump trucks would pull over, fill up with dirt, and make a U turn to bring the dirt back to the construction site. Once we passed that spot things got better and better until we found ourselves on roads with low traffic and smooth 10 foot shoulders.

Some great bike Lanes were brought to us by the Watonwan County Trail System.
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The wild flowers along the road are enjoying all the rain.
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Snow in June? No, just a catalpa tree with lots of blossoms.
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We took a break at a Casey's General Store. We don't have Casey's in Florida, but the Midwest is infested with them. Every town with 200 or more souls seems to have a Casey's. Their claim to fame is that each store bakes fresh donuts and pizza. Any donuts that don't sell during the day go in sale for half price in a one dozen box. Not that we would ever consider eating donuts on a bike tour.

Casey's pizza slices are like fine cigars - proper humidity is essential to storing them.
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Our history lesson appeared in the form of a mural in the town of Madelia. In 1876 the James Younger gang, fresh from robbing the Northfield bank, was spotted by a 17 year old Madelia boy. He alerted the sheriff, who rounded up 100 citizens to confront the gang. The mural tells the rest of the tale. The gang took cover under a fire escape, but the townsfolk firing from behind a window killed James and captured 3 Younger brothers, ending a 10 year reign of terror.

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