Two Long Days on the Bicycle and a Short Ride to Minneapolis, MN
September 18, 2015 – Day 15
Palisade MN to Little Falls, MN (Charles Lindbergh State Park) 94 miles. Total Miles – 963
Weather 68 degrees, partly cloudy, tail wind
Today we were to travel 87 miles not the 94 that we ended up doing, but due to road construction and gravel roads we had to travel off route for several sections of our trip. We traveled thru several cities including Atkins, Crosby, Brainerd and finally ended up in Little Falls. The ride was good but long, luckily we had the tail widen to keep us moving and getting us to our destination.
We decided to make the Charles Lindbergh State Park our home for the night. It is a beautiful park with property along the Mississippi River and the campground located across the street from the river. Unfortunately there were no electric sites and the improved restrooms and showers were closed for the season. So no showers for us – we hate going to bed without a shower after biking all day. Thank goodness the weather was cooler so we were not quite as bad at the end of the day as usual.
The Charles A. Lindbergh State Park was established in 1931 when 110 acres of property was donated by his family to the state in memory of Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. The park now is 570 acres. Pike Creek meanders thru the park and empties into the Mississippi River. Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the pilot of the first trans- Atlantic flight grew up in the house overlooking the Mississippi River – the home was built in 1906 by his father. The park is very nice and two different museums are located near the park – they were both closed otherwise it would have been fun to check them out. We will have to go beck someday.
We were surprised at the number of campers in the park for the night and through the weekend – although it is suppose to be a beautiful weekend and the trees are actually starting to change up north already – very pretty. We really needed power for the tracking device otherwise it beeps like crazy. So we asked a young couple at an adjacent electric site if we could charge the tracker for the night they were more than willing to allow us to plug it in. We talked with them and their two children for awhile, they were very interested in our trip and of course the double bike!!
It proved to be a chilly night so we climbed in the tent early to write our posts and blogs and then read for a while. We had a long ride ahead of us the next day.
September 19, 2015 – Day 16
Little Falls, MN (Charles Lindbergh State Park) to Coon Rapids, MN 98 miles. Total Miles 1,061
Weather cold in morning – 36 degrees, warmed up to 75 degrees, sunny and cross/tailwind
Woke up to a cold morning at the campground, put on all the layers and got going with a warm breakfast. Today we were going to be bicycling from the more rural areas to the bigger cities around Minneapolis. Our ride was mainly on county roads and the Great River Road. We traveled thru the City of Rice, Sauk Rapids, St Cloud, Clearwater, Monticello and finally into Otsego. From Otsego we traveled the last 15 miles to our Warm Showers stay in Coon Rapids.
Now that we are closer to the cities and for the rest of the route our guide book will offer routes on both the east and west side of the river. This came in handy when traveling thru St Cloud because we decided to stay on the east side of the river there were some nice gardens to view on that side – the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens were amazing.
The ride today was longer than we would have liked it to be, but it is just the way it worked out and will give us a nice short day into Minneapolis and to our daughter Alex’s house tomorrow. The ride continues to go well and the nice fall days have been great.
September 20, 2015 Day 17
Coon Rapids, MN – Minneapolis MN 18 miles – Total Miles 1,079
Weather 69 degrees, light winds, sunny, beautiful fall day
This morning we woke to fresh baked blueberry muffins – made by John our Warm Showers host. The muffins were delicious and we each ate three of them. John rode out to the Coon Rapids Dam with us to get us going in the right direction, which was great – it is always nice when your local host helps you get out of town. We had a great stay with John and his dog, unfortunately we did not get a chance to meet his wife she was away for the weekend at a girl scout event.
Our ride took us along the beautiful trail system into the twin cities and before we knew it we were in the cities and only a mile from our daughters home. We even got in the middle of an organized bicycle ride and rode their route for several miles. It was funny to see the other riders go by and look at us funny, they were having trouble figuring out what a fully loaded tandem bicycle was doing on the ride. We even crossed the finish line of the ride!!
We totally forgot that the Vikings were playing the Detroit Lions at the University of Minnesota stadium today, boy was there lots of traffic when we got on to campus. The Vikings are playing at the University stadium while there new stadium is being built – the Dome deflated a couple of years ago and they decided they needed to build a new one.
We plan to have a day off tomorrow and will goof off in the cities I am sure we will find plenty to do. So do not look for a post tomorrow. Attached are some pictures from past days – enjoy.