For more detailed maps, scroll down through the blog. Click on any one to enlarge it; use the backspace button to return to the blog. That goes for the photos, too.
Day 35: Sunday, 5th August. Destination: Parkway Motel, Red Wing, Minnesota
It was drizzling lightly this next morning, but the cycle to Red Wing turned out OK. It was cold, would you believe, but atmospheric. Tree-covered bluffs disappearing into grey, rain-saturated clouds, and the smell of wood smoke drifting up from a trailer park campsite down by the riverbank, between the railway and the road. The river is sometimes wide, sometimes narrow as it splits into smaller channels; sometimes muddy brown, sometimes green with algae and lilly pads; sometimes hidden by trees, sometimes opening up to a spectacular vista. But it's always there, as people go about their business fishing for walleye pike or serving up eggs'n'hash browns in one of the riverside diners, where folk talk of dilapidated bridges and what they caught the day before.
Further up the river, on the way to Red Wing, I was admiring the view and reading about the feeding habits of migrating swans on an information post (they enjoy some kind of river tuber), when a cyclist stopped for a chat. Turned out he lived in Lake City (en-route to Red Wing) where he grows raspberries. He ended up inviting me round for fresh raspberries, ice-cream and home-made raspberry liqueur. Delicious. Thanks, Greg! Red Wing is a nice, brick, river town but I didn't see too much of it because I was staying in a motel a bit out of town. Ended up going to see the new Harry Potter movie in the multiplex across the street. It was nice to hear some Scottish accents. Late-night meal at a tex-mex restaurant was a treat, too.
I've updated my blog. There are 3 reasons why: 1) so it reads from start to finish rather than the other way round; 2) so I can include some episodes that never made it to the original; and 3) to add some photos. A consequence of this is that the blog archive below reads as if all blogs were produced in June 2010. It's just the way Blogger works. The original dates are incorporated in the individual blog titles.
If you want to use the tags at the bottom of each blog, remember to click 'Older Post' when you want to go to the next, newer, one.
The detailed maps also work as chapter headings: they correspond to each of the 12 cycle maps I needed to get from coast to coast.
This Summer, I'm cycling across North America from Bar Harbor, Maine to Florence, Oregon. 4,300 miles, give or take a few. The first three weeks of my trip I'll be accompanied by my friends Edward & Ewa, and the rest will be solo. None of us are fitness freaks, but we do like the outdoors and looking at nice views. We've been in training since last November, and hopefully will be in reasonable shape come our start date, July 2nd.
I'm doing it simply for the adventure, but if you're interested, I'm also going to be raising money for the charity Architects For Aid. They do great work, and you can find out more about them by clicking the link at the top of this page. There's a link to my sponsorship page below.
I'll be updating this weblog regularly, so come back soon, John.
My Favourites List
TV Commercial: "Obsessing over celebrity is wrong..." Yup, the prize for best TV ad - and this will come as no surprise to Edward & Ewa - goes to Wendy's Baconator. Watch it here, if you dare (click on the black & white image of a guy screaming...)
Breakfast: Again, no surprises for E&E - a tie between oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar & maple syrup, and two eggs (scrambled) with hashbrowns and white toast.
State: Tough call, but the M's have it, in a tie between Minnesota and Montana.
The Internal Jukebox
I decided not to take my MP3 Player with me. Too heavy, and I wanted to listen to crickets and birds. But nature abhors a vaccuum so during this trip, from time to time, I've found myself singing or humming an assortment of tunes. In a roughly chronological order, here's the ones I remember:
Heard It On The X - ZZ Top
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Acony Bell - Gillian Welch
11:11 - Rufus Wainwright
I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
The Carpet Crawl - Genesis
Don't Bring Me Down - ELO
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go - Bob Dylan
That Kind Of Love - Alison Krauss
Fun For Me - Moloko
Work It - Missy Elliott
Mississippi Delta - Bobby Gentry
Where The Lazy River Goes By - Teddy Wilson
I'm Gonna Love You Too - Blondie
Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Tony & Dawn
Big Sky - Kate Bush
Walking On The Moon - The Police
Old MacDonald Had A Creek / The Hokey Cokey (Medley)
Everyday America - Sugarland
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
The End - The Beatles
I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - White Stripes
and , of course,
(I've Got A) Sore Butt (& My Butt Is Sore)