Rolling fellowship - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

Rolling fellowship

My day started when Viktoriya woke me up. "It's 7:34. We overslept. Go tell team S we're not going to be able to leave by 8:30."

I figured team S would be eating breakfast, so I went down the hallway to the breakfast room. No sign of team S, but there were signs of food. We had big plans to summit the continental divide this afternoon, so I decided I should eat breakfast before doing anything else.

After breakfast, I went down to team S's door and knocked as quietly as I could. No answer. Could they have also overslept? I pulled out my phone and checked the time. 6:30????

How was this possible? It was already 7:34 when I woke up. Time travel?

I went back to confer with Viktoriya. "It's only 6:30" I said.

She glanced at her phone. "You're right. You should have checked the time when I woke you up. I was using my phone as a stop watch last night. I held a plank for 7 minutes and 34 seconds. I thought it was 7:34."

"Congratulations on your plank. I'll try to remember to never trust you again."

Thanks to our early wake up time we were on the road by 8:30. We spent the whole day on the Central Lakes Trail, which is really just a continuation of the Lake Wobegon Trail.

Minnesota has amazing wildflowers. The Central Lakes Trail was no exception.
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More Lady Slippers.
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As you might expect, the Central Lakes Trail borders many lakes. The tiny island in the distance is full of water birds.
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Mysterious curving tracks on the trail. Made by cyclists returning from a distillery tour?
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We decided the faint tracks were probably left by rollerblades.
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We haven't experienced Minnesota trails on a weekend, but even during the week they get pretty good use. This morning we met a couple of ladies trying to put air in a bike tire at a filling station next to the trail. The pump wasn't working too well, so Kerry helped out with his frame pump. A bit later when we stopped for lunch, we saw them again with a group of friends at the same restaurant we were going to (probably the only one in town). With this many women riders, it was obviously some kind of organized ride.

A restaurant full of bikers. They're smiling because they just had lunch.
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We chatted with them and learned that they are all friends from the same church. Every year they do a trip together, alternating between bike trips one year and visiting the Boundary Waters the next.

After lunch we kept leap frogging the ladies we had met at lunchtime. This was handy because when we reached the top of the continental divide, they were there to take our picture.

We made it to the top of the divide!
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The Laurentian divide does not have quite the glamour of the Great divide in the Rocky mountains, but is nevertheless significant. Water on one side of the divide flows into the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Water on the other side flows into Hudson Bay.

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I used the water in my water bottle to conduct an experiment. I poured some out on the divide, expecting to see half the water rush south towards the Gulf and the other half head north to the Bay. To my astonishment, all of the water just sunk into the earth without going anywhere. Rats! After sacrificing my water in an attempt to advance science, I was suddenly thirsty.

Luckily we only had about 10 miles to go from the divide to our destination in Fergus Falls. I was distracted from my thirst by the many birds in a Fergus Falls park. Egrets have been nesting in the park for many years. Cormerants are new arrivals who have done a lot of damage to the nesting spot.

Cormerants above, egrets below, all feeding their chicks.
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Here comes a line of Canada Geese. What do they want?
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The geese want to know if we brought food for them. Sorry guys, maybe next time.
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Finally, here's the update on our longest day experiment. Sunrise this morning in Alexandria MN was at 5:31. Sunset in Fergus Falls was 9:20. That gives us 15 hours and 49 minutes of daylight today, making this our longest day. It's also the westernmost point on our trip, tomorrow we head east.

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