Day 42 - Little Falls, MN to Pequot Lakes, MN - Two Far 2020 - NTF (Not Two Far) - CycleBlaze

July 11, 2020

Day 42 - Little Falls, MN to Pequot Lakes, MN

Great day, lousy pictures!

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Today was fun - we met some great people and had an excellent ride.  I have good stories to share, but no so good pictures.  We're having some camera issues and I have really blurry photos.  I'm going to post some anyway, so I'm apologizing in advance :-).

It was a long route, but we had good weather and good roads.  We kept seeing dark skies behind us, but the skies ahead remained blue all day.

As we were leaving Little Falls, we noticed a cyclist riding fast behind us.  As he approached, we saw he was riding a RANS recumbent.  He is Jayme Johnson and has also done cycle touring.

Jayme said we were hard to catch. We don't hear that very often!
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 We rode and talked cycling together for a few miles, then pulled into a church parking lot to exchange information.  

As we were talking at the church, a man came out and welcomed us and said they were setting up for a drive-in Mass tomorrow morning.  We all chatted for a while, then another guy came out from the church.  He also welcomed us to Minnesota.  These men were brothers and both warm and friendly.

It was a pleasure to meet Jayme.
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And this is Duane and Darrell. Even though the picture is so blurry, I couldn't leave them out of this post.
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Meeting these three got our day off to a great start.  We rode on for another few  miles and passed Camp Ripley.  It is a Minnesota National Guard training facility.

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I like the stone wall around the front of the camp. There is a cemetery behind the wall.
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Our first stop was in the tiny (population 69) community of Fort Ripley.  The store at which we stopped also housed the local post office.  I really hate that the picture is so blurry, but I had to post it.

When we've seen post boxes like this before, they've been in museums.
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After Fort Ripley, we had another 15 miles before we reached the Paul Bunyan Trail in Baxter.  We were on a busy, noisy four lane highway but it had a good wide shoulder and we didn't have any trouble.

We went past this golf course with some seriously undulating greens. Golfing friends, do you see courses like this very often?
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Curt & Helene Reedwe call those bumps, MONGROWS,
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3 weeks ago

We crossed the Mississippi River again.  We should be keeping count.

You can see the good road we had.
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The rumble strips were in the right place.
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We stopped in Baxter for lunch before starting on the Paul Bunyan Trail.   It is still a problem finding a way to have a comfortable lunch traveling by bike.  We found an outdoor table at McDonald's, but they don't allow ordering inside.  We weren't going to wait in the very long line of cars to order at the drive thru.  Kerry spotted a Subway down the block, so he went there, ordered inside and we ate at the McDonald's.  It is not wrong at all for restaurants to have careful policies to keep employees and customers safe, but some consistency would make it so much easier!

We rode the trail to our destination.  

Most of the trail is wooded.
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There are overpasses across highways.
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This is not a railroad grade overpass! The bridge was built in 2016.
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The trail goes through summer lake resort towns.  In Nisswa, we found another Prairie Home Companion reference and many blocks of tourist shops and restaurants.

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We could have gotten along pretty good without the DQ Blizzard we stopped for, but we would have missed the chance to meet Michelle, Thomas and Ben.  We had a good time talking with them - talking and talking and talking - I had to drag Kerry away!

Michelle, Thomas and Ben They were pretty sharp in real life!
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Between Nisswa and Pequot Lakes, we saw many lakes, lakefront homes and resorts.

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The trailhead in Pequot Lakes
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We're in a nice hotel tonight with a number of families.  The kids are enjoying the freedom of running up and down the hall.  Their exuberance is welcome for about another 1/2 hour, then I hope they all get quietly into their rooms!

Today's ride: 58 miles (93 km)
Total: 1,168 miles (1,880 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 5
Keith A. SpanglerDid you figure out your camera blur issue? Was something on the lens? Curious.....
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Keith A. SpanglerWe dropped the camera yesterday and think it scrambled things up inside. We're going to buy a new one in Bemidji on Tuesday. In the meantime Jeanna will use her phone.
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1 month ago
Jayme JohnsonIt was a pleasure meeting the two of you. Perhaps I'll see you again near the Canadian border later this week.
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4 weeks ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Jayme JohnsonWe'll be in International Falls Monday and Tuesday nights next week. We'd love to get together if you'll be in the area.
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4 weeks ago
Jayme JohnsonTo Jeanna & Kerry SmithRegretfully, it's likely I'll be in International Falls and back in Little Falls before you arrive at the border. I will continue to watch the progress of your adventure, however.
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4 weeks ago