TRIP 2007

Update #16 - June 01st
Northfield, Minnesota
5588 miles (8940 KM) since Jan 01st
4747 miles (7595 KM) since March 03

Three days ago I crossed the Mississippi River. It's hard to believe that the last time that I cycled across the Mississippi River was back in last October. This time I crossed the Mississippi River just east of Lansing, Iowa. The bridge was narrow and it had an open metal decking so I walked across it. People call the bridge, the Singing Bridge, because of the noise that it makes when traffic crosses it.

Lansing has the sharpest curve in the Mississippi River Channel and is the only place where the River is close to the Iowa shore. Mississippi River boatman loaded firewood at Lansing for their ship's boilers. Most of the forests in the area were chopped down back then and haven't come back. I stopped in Lansing to visit with some friends (Hi Phyllis and Harlan!!!) who I haven't seen in two years and I spent the night with a member of the Warm Showers association, who is the funeral director for the area.

I rode up the Mississippi River on the Iowa and Minnesota side. The ride was pretty good. There was several short sections of paved bike trails. I was able to speak at the small group at the Cornerstone Community Church (SBC) who were having a prayer group. This was the eleventh church or ministry that I spoke at. There wasn't much disappointed at the response afterwards. Because of possible thunderstorms during the night, I was hoping to maybe be able to stay in the church for the night but "insurance" seemed to be the "head of the church" instead of the Messiah. I should have guessed the response by the size of the town. I've found out that it's hard to find a compassionate minister in a town or city if the population is over 5,000 people.

The thing that saved me from having to camp out in the rain was that one of the church members present had been on the police force and he knew that the police department had vouchers to get a room at one of the area motels. The only demeaning thing was having to give up my ID card to the police to have a background check done to make sure I didn't have a record.

The day before yesterday I had about an eight mile climb out of the Mississippi River valley. Along the way, I rode passed a small fenced enclosure that had some deer in it. One of the female deer must have recently given birth since there was a really small deer that might have been a week old. Before starting up the climb, I rode passed a creek. There was a really large snapping turtle near the bank laying it's eggs in a hole it scratched in the bank. I spent the night with an association member who had an eighteen month old son.

Last month was a big month regarding to mileage traveled. In 27.5 days, I had traveled 1948 miles (3113 KM). It's hard to believe that I had left the coast of Maine the first of the month. If I hadn't taken an extra day off, I might have cycled over 2000 miles.

Today, I had a good morning. Because of an early start out of Rochester and a good tailwind, I made over 44 miles. This is basically double what I normally travel in a morning. I might have been able to have another day over 100 miles. What stopped me was that there were rain showers coming through the area. I had to take two extended breaks at city parks under picnic shelters. I'm spending the night with another association member.

I am on the way to Plymouth, just west of Minneapolis. From Plymouth, I'll be traveling north to Grand Forks, North Dakota possibly through Bemidji. I haven't been in the Dakotas and Montana in a couple of years so I'm heading there. I'll probably be turning around in Eastern Montana before I hit the Rocky Mountains. I'll not be crossing the Rockies this year.

I'll try and post an update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between June 08th and June 15th. Hopefully, I'll have more to write about by then.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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