2010 Alaska Trike Trip

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Bald Eagle

One of the great bald eagles at the National Eagle Center.

National Eagle Center

After a short, beautiful ride along Lake Pepin, we stopped in Wabasha, MN to see the National Eagle Center.  It was in the mid 90s again this afternoon, so we decided not to ride any further and just make Wabasha home for the evening.

MRT Day 14 ride along Lake Pepin

If my boat is in the middle, how do I get it out. 

MRT Day 14

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lake Pepin - Mississippi River

The Mississippi River widens out here at our campground into Lake Pepin and then flows on downstream.

MRT Day 13 - no ride

Forgot to mention our climb yesterday up the 1 1/4 mile hill from checkin to our campsite.  It was at least 10 to 12% grade and took us exactly 27 minutes to pedal in the 95 degree sunny heat.  We have decided to spend day 13 at this wonderful park and went for a hike early before the heat creeps up on us.  They are predicting record breaking heat today with winds out of the south at 20-30 mph -- which would make it a headwind for us. This is what we saw on our hike.

Our neighbors

These nice ladies (Diane and Jan) offered us cold drinks and we definitely took them up on it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Campground at last

We finally made it to the campground, but it was a long 59.5 mile\HOT (90 degree) ride.  We stopped midway under the shade of a tree in front of a church and borrowed their garden hose to soak our clothes and hair.  We refilled our water bottles many times at various places and poured the water over us.  At the campground we showered and washed our clothes in the shower and then put them back on wet.  We are finally cooled off and ready to try out the new sleeping pads.

Red Wing, MN

Anyone ever wear a pair of these?

helicopter cropdusting

I've never seen this before.

MRT Day 12

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Downtown Minneapolis

Day 11 was very interesting and frustrating.  It started in the middle of the night when my 35 year old Thermarest sleeping pad finally called it quits.  I reinflated it about every hour until I gave up at 4:00 a.m. and started looking on the computer for a sporting goods store near us.  It was interesting trying to find bike paths and safe streets to ride on in Minneapolis to get from the KOA to Dick's.  We dropped $256 on new sleeping pads for each of us, figuring that Cal's didn't have many days left to live either.  Then we made our way through town and to the river.  From there we were on bike trails beside the river, so we didn't get lost too many times.  About 3:00 p.m. we decided it was time to look for a motel (no campgrounds in the area).  The only thing close was Holiday Inn for $154 -- not including breakfast.  It took us over an hour to find the hotel, so we weren't going to look any further.  It is really hot here -- supposed to be 99 tomorrow and 100 the next day, so at least we are enjoying the air conditioning tonight.

University of Minnesota

The architect for this building took one too many art classes.

MRT Day 11

Monday, August 27, 2012

MRT official trail

This is the first sign that we are on the right path.  We gave up following the guidebook and bought a Rand McNally book.  After about 50 miles we were getting hot and tired and looking for a campground, but found a Holiday Inn instead.  The ladies at the front desk were so kind and gave us water bottles and printed a map to the nearest KOA. It was only 10 miles past the hotel. We are there now and have showered and swam in the pool, so we are all cooled off.

Mississippi River near Monticello, MN

Took a side trip down to the river -- just to be sure we are still heading in the right direction.  Haha.

MRT Day 10

Sunday, August 26, 2012

St Cloud Campground and RV Park

We have been following the "Bicycling Guide to the Mississippi River Trail" and it is getting us more and more lost every day.  It said 32 miles campground to campground today, but I now have more than 45 miles on my bike and we are finally here.  We couldn't find this campground, so we stoppped at a city park and I got my phone out to use the GPS mapping directions.  After we got here, I realized I left the phone charger on the bench -- too many miles back to go looking for it.  The nice lady (Pat) here at the campground drove me to the nearest Target to get a new one.  Now maybe I can use the phone again to find tomorrow's campground.  Almost forgot about some directions we got yesterday.  A man told us to "just go down this road a ways and turn just after my house".  OK?????

Mississippi River near St. Cloud, MN

The river is getting bigger as we travel south.

Charles Lingbergh's boyhood home

Rode by Lingbergh's home on the way out of the campground this morning.

MRT Day 9

Long 65 mile day

We left the BAM group at 6:00 a.m. and headed south on the Paul Bunyan Trail towards Little Falls.  All went well until we got to Brainard where the trail ended and we had to find the highway.  We asked for directions 3 times and still managed to ride an extra 12 miles today just to get here to the Lindbergh State Park.  It rained off and on, which didn't help our ride much.  Cal managed to leave me along the road while I was getting my rain gear on.  He didn't realize I had stopped and I didn't know he had continued on down the road -- including making a turn.  I finally found him and caught up, but it was a little frightening. 

Day 8 Ride

This is what we saw today.

MRT Day 8

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pretty birds

What we saw along the trail today.

Leech Lake, Walker, MN

Hate to leave such a beautiful place.

MRT Day 7 ride

After a nice quiet night in the Walker City Park with BAM, we hit the road at 7:00 a.m.  The ride was entirely on the paved Paul Bunyan Trail to Pequot Lakes.  The ride was uneventful except for the thousands of grasshoppers that hopped at us and tried to hitch a ride.  We decided 41.1 miles was enough since it is now 89 degrees -- and BAM is also camping here, so we will spend another night with them before going our separate way. 

MRT Day 7

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lake Leech

This campsite has quite the view.


We rode into Walker looking for a campground and ran into Jim from BAM (BikeAround Minnesota)  He invited us to camp with their group tonight.  After a free shower courtesy of BAM, we had a DQ ice cream and are now settled in for the night.

Ride from Itasca to Walker

This was what we saw today.

MRT Day 6

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lake Itasca

We spent the whole day riding the 17 mile trail around the lake and this was the only view we got of the lake.

Tire in the river

It's official.  With a tire in the River, we have officially started the journey down the Mississippi.

Mississippi River headwaters

We finally made it to the headwaters so I guess this is actually the beginning of our MRT (Mississippi River Trail) trip.

MRT - Day 5

mighty (tiny) Mississippi River

Stopped to check out the tiny Mississippi River just before we reached Lake Itasca.

Paul Bunyan Trail

We rode the Paul Bunyan Trail from our campsite around the south end of Lake Bemidji and into town  where we stopped at Subway to pick up lunch to eat on the ride. 


This is what the Mississippi River looks like when  it reaches Bemidji, MN.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lake Bemidji, MN

Camped at Lake Bemidji today and off to Lake Itasca (headwaters of the Mississippi River) tomorrow.

Day 3 campsite

This will be our home for tonight.  We had a great 30.24 mile ride in 70 degree weather. 


We decided to have a nice hot breakfast of oatmeal and hot chocolate while our tent dried enough to pack it.

MRT Day 3

Sunday, August 19, 2012

open bar at Hayley's RV Park

We missed a good party here last night but arrived in time for free leftovers from the pig roast.  We were planning to camp a little further down the road, but this looked too inviting -- and all for $10.00 for our tent site. Total miles today was 43.84, on a great, low traffic road, but without a shoulder. 

Foggy morning at Big Falls

This was a nice view from our campground this morning.  42degrees and foggy.

MRT Day 2

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Big Falls

After a nice 42 mile ride on a wide shoulder, we arrived here at Big Falls.

Running from the storm

Every time I heard thunder,  I rode faster.  We pulled into Big Falls Campground and parked under the picnic shelter just before the rain began to pour.

Leaving 1st campground

Packed up and ready to leave International Falls

MRT Day 1

Friday, August 17, 2012

MRT - International Falls, MN

Starting our trip down the Mississippi River

Smokey the Bear

Smokey at International Falls