Out Of Woodbury & Into The Snow - A Few Days In A Snow Globe - CycleBlaze

December 12, 2021

Out Of Woodbury & Into The Snow

Hastings, Minnesota

Heart 0 Comment 0

The day began with my morning call from The Feeshko.  "So, did you decide what you're going to do" she asked?

"Yeah, I think I'm going to ride back home today," was my response.

"Are you sure the roads are safe?  I could drive there and pick you up."

"Absolutely not," I said to that.  Then I had to clarify, "I mean YES, I think the roads will be okay, but NO you absolutely cannot pick me up."

I know she was only looking out for my safety.  That's cool.  But I wish she'd start looking out for my Tough Guy persona.  I mean, what kind of Tough Guy would want to be rescued by his wife just because of a little snow?  Not THIS tough guy!

In fact, the main reason I decided to head home today is because I felt the need to rescue HER after our phone conversation yesterday.  I asked if any of the neighbors had come by with their snowblowers to clear our driveway.  A couple of them have done that in the past.

"No, you pretty much put an end to that when you constantly tell them that you love shoveling.  That it keeps you in shape.  That it's one of the only winter outdoor activities you really enjoy."

She was right.  I do tell them that.  (They already know that the other winter outdoor activity I enjoy is bicycling.)  And it's true, I do like shoveling my driveway by hand.  It gives me the same satisfaction as I get from a long hard day of pedaling my bike.

                                                        ************

I was planning to wait until check-out time before heading out.  I figured the longer I waited, the higher the sun would get, the warmer the temperature would be, and the more the ice would melt.  But I was so sick of being cooped up in that motel room that I couldn't take it any more.  

It was 24-degrees (F) when I started, which was fine because I'm confident the clothing I brought would keep me warm for two or three hours of biking--even if it got down to Zero-degrees.  (If not warm, at least alive.)

I planned a pretty direct route back to my hometown.  It involved a combination of bike trails, city streets, busy thoroughfares, country roads and highways.  If, and when, conditions looked too treacherous, I'd adjust my route accordingly. 

Here I go.    

I was pleased that most of my first few miles were on roadside bike trails. They weren't ideal, but they were rideable.
Heart 4 Comment 2
Bill ShaneyfeltWow! They plow the bike path there!

Here, it is just ride over the myriad of thaw-refreeze footsteps and stupid ATV swerving and spinning. (Illegal for them, but they do it anyway)
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Bill ShaneyfeltYes, we plow the bike paths here. Minnesota prides itself on being a very bike-friendly state.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
I veered off the trails onto a well-shouldered county highway. Here's a picture of Bailey Lake for your viewing pleasure.
Heart 5 Comment 0
I made a short stop to climb a mountain. I thought it would make for a great photo-op. Then I sunk into the snow, I didn't make it to the summit, and the photo turned out blurry.
Heart 5 Comment 2
Rich FrasierOtherwise perfect, though. :)
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Rich FrasierThank you so much!
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
I was confident that Highway 19 would be well-shouldered, well-plowed and well-salted. I was right on all counts.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Other than a brisk headwind, it was a very nice ride on Highway 19.  I stopped a couple times for pictures that, in retrospect, weren't all that picture worthy.  I'm posting them anyway.  Check 'em out.

It's kind of a mansion. According to the sign out front, the owners host weddings and afternoon teas. No doubt, that will be the place I'll rent if I ever decide to invite some friends to an afternoon tea. (That'll never happen.)
Heart 2 Comment 0
I liked that farm across the snowfield and I wondered what animals made those tracks in the foreground.
Heart 4 Comment 0

Next came a mile on a U.S. Highway 61 frontage road, then a couple of miles on some country roads, then a couple of miles on the broad shoulder of Highway 61 itself, followed by a troublesome bike trail across the Highway 61 bridge into MY Town.  Next you will see a compilation of photos and videos from that stretch.

The Mississippi River Trail is a nice route, but more often than not, there is no view of the Mississippi River.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Snowmobilers love this stuff.
Heart 2 Comment 0
I can't explain it, but I am fascinated by trains. Here's one passing underneath The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong and me.
Heart 4 Comment 4
Suzanne GibsonAsk Dr. Freud.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Rich FrasierDo you know Fred Eaglesmith, the Canadian singer/songwriter? He has a great tune called "I Like Trains". I sing it every time I get to watch a train go by.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Rich FrasierI just Googled it. Catchy tune. "I like trains. I like sad trains, I like trains that whisper your name."
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Rich FrasierThe best thing about it is having a special song to sing when a train goes by. My wife knows what's coming after all these years but she still laughs at me. Little boys never grow up I guess.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
No caption needed
Heart 1 Comment 0
G-2, my cartoon alter-ego, found his own alter ego.
Heart 5 Comment 0

I cut that video off a bit prematurely.  I didn't get the bald eagle to the right, or much of a shot of downtown Hastings to the left.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0

On the other side of the bridge, I was home free.  Nothing can stop me now.  Not even the snowy city streets.  And I held out some hope that maybe, just maybe, one of my neighbors ignored what I said about preferring to shovel out my own driveway.  I was tired.

Heart 1 Comment 0
There was no snowblower assistance from my neighbors. I guess I had some work to do and I got right down to it. I shoveled my ass off for the next two hours.
Heart 6 Comment 0
It took more than an hour but I'm almost done. My back hurts. My legs hurt. My heart is pumping. I feel like I just biked 70 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing.
Heart 5 Comment 2
Kelly IniguezWe have the same van! My eight foot long recumbent fits inside without removing the wheels. I love the fold down seats in the van. Cool factor is non existent - you can't have it all.

I've had great fun riding along with you!

Kelly
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly IniguezThanks Kelly. And, yes, I like all those features of the van too. I guess I'm not cool.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago

To my knowledge, I've never ridden 70 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing.  But I'm guessing the feeling is similar to moving about 10 tons of snow off your driveway.  [I made up that 10-ton number.]

I've got to take a nap now.  I'll be back tomorrow with a Grand Sweeping Conclusion.

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 66 miles (106 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 12
Comment on this entry Comment 4
Scott AndersonHey, I recognize that bridge in the video! We have a photo of you and Rachael on it.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Suzanne GibsonHey, that is beginning to look more like the Minnesota I know - from the movie "Grumpy Old Men". I'm sure you know it. I just watched it again on TV the other night and had to think of you.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Scott AndersonI know the photo you're referring to, and I really like it.
Reply to this comment
5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Suzanne GibsonAh yes, "Grumpy Old Men." Ice fishing is a big deal here, but I've never been a part of that culture. In fact, I don't even like regular fishing. But it is a Minnesota classic--along with "Fargo."
Reply to this comment
5 months ago