Day 45 - Lake George, MN to Bemidji, MN - Two Far 2020 - NTF (Not Two Far) - CycleBlaze

July 14, 2020

Day 45 - Lake George, MN to Bemidji, MN

It's a small world!

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Today was fun even with starting out in the rain.  It was raining when we woke up, contrary to last night's forecast which predicted the rain would be over by early morning.  Now, it looked as if the rain would continue until about noon.  It wasn't raining hard, there was almost no wind and it was 60 degrees - cool for us, but bearable.   We put the rain covers on our gear and ourselves and left a little after 10AM.  Our first destination was the Mississippi Headwaters at Itasca State Park.  This has been a goal of Kerry's since we started this trip.  We had rain for the first 45 minutes or so, but it was gradually getting lighter, as was the sky ahead.  It wasn't really uncomfortable, just a bit chilly.  (For a while now, Kerry has been saying that, as it's been so warm,  we should ship our cool weather gear home to save weight.  Today he was very glad that we hadn't, as he wore long pants, heavy socks and a long-sleeve thermal shirt under his jersey to beat the chill.)

Since it was raining, we had packed the phone away.  I didn't take any pictures until we got the the state park and the rain had ended.

From the park entrance to the headwaters was a beautiful 7 mile ride.
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There is a large visitor center at the headwaters with outdoor exhibits, restrooms, a gift shop and a restaurant.  The restaurant was closed, but everything else was open, which was nice.  While exploring the exhibits, we met these lovely folks.  

Ruth, from Bemidji, and Lelia and Ben from Chicago. They're here with a group of friends and family.
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One of the exhibits is a large model of the Mississippi.  Kerry is pointing to our starting point in Natchez, MS and I'm pointing to where we are now.

We've come this far! (Full disclosure: I didn't start cycling until southern Illinois. Kerry has cycled the whole way.)
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Some headwater history
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Kerry walked all the way across the Mississippi River and returned safely to the shore.

Walking across the Mississippi!
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We left the park and headed to Bemidji.  Again, Minnesota gave us excellent roads for cycling.

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They even closed this road right past where we needed to turn!
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Soon after that turn, we crossed the Mississippi again.  

This is eight miles from the headwaters.
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We saw haying and logging again today 

Beautiful hay field
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and what we think is a llama or alpaca out among the cows.

Is that an alpaca on the left?
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Scott AndersonActually it looks more like a young moose to me.
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3 weeks ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Scott AndersonReally? I never even thought of that. Thanks for sharing your knowlege.
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3 weeks ago

We stopped for lunch at the Becida Bar and Grill.  It was almost empty, so we felt comfortable eating inside.

Team Abbate - remember this place?
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Alain AbbateI remember stopping there, but if you expect me to remember what I ate your going to be disappointed.
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3 weeks ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Alain AbbateI knew we had been there, but didn't remember it until we went in. Then it was so familiar when we walked in the door.
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3 weeks ago

We were getting a little annoyed because it took over half an hour to get our food.  We even talked about leaving.  We were so glad we didn't because we may have missed these folks:

Ann and Fred Abeles of Maryland and Inverness, FL.
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Ann & Fred are staying in a family cabin in the area and were out for a ride.  As they passed the restaurant, they saw a  loaded touring bike and came in to greet fellow cyclists.  It turns out we were already acquainted!  The Abeles give wonderful talks about their travels at our local bike club.  We have heard them speak and met them on our local trail.  It took us all a minute to make the connection and then it was one of those almost unbelievable small world moments - four Citrus County cyclists meeting on the road in rural Minnesota!

We continued on to Bemidji and stopped at Target to get a new camera and a few supplies.  I waited with the bike while Kerry went inside.  A touring cyclist stopped to say hello just before Kerry returned.  The three of us chatted and Kerry gave him our card.  He said that was the second cyclist's card he had gotten today and pulled Ann and Fred's card out of his pocket.  He had meet them earlier in the day.  Can we say small world again?  

Dean from Minneapolis.
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Tomorrow we may not have WIFI, so if not, we'll post on Thursday.

Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 1,279 miles (2,058 km)

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Lou HarminI love reading but especially when it is about meeting people that you know from previous encounters. Everything sounds good and I look forward to daily writings and especially to your return.
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4 weeks ago
Jayme JohnsonSpeaking of small world, I visited with Dean at Coborn's grocery when he was on his way north through Little Falls.
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3 weeks ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Jayme JohnsonCycle tourists always find each other!
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3 weeks ago