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Wow: Here I am again, so soon! The last, from Stillwater, was my first whole day in Minnesota, and this, from Worthington, is my last whole day in Minnesota. But Minnesota was terrific.
The day leaving Stillwater included both driving rain and then driving wind, the outliers of that tornado that touched down in Granite Falls on Tuesday. But it was more than 100 miles from me, so I was not in danger. What I think I did not emphasize last time was a simply wonderful homestay with Sallie and Mel in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. Smashingly terrific people---we had a fine ol' time together. They are both with the Postal Service. Sallie then put me in touch with friends of hers in Mankato, MN, by the name of Harold and Alice. Harold was with the Postal Service also, and is now in a related business with contacts all over the region. Harold rides, as does Sallie. And so, after several phone calls, both Harold & Alice AND Sallie & Mel met me in Faribault, MN, and the three of us rode into Mankato together on the Sakata Trail, a 40-mile rails/trails paved path almost right to Harold's door. Mel and Alice went antiqueing, and met us along the way for lunch, and later again for cool drinks. What an amazingly civilized way to ride, NOT these forced marches I seem to undertake when alone. Well, they spoiled me rotten for solo riding, and taught me very clearly to shorten my days. Which is why I have the time today to write again.
We all stayed the night in Mankato, and in the morning AGAIN the three of us rode out on another of a whole network of paths that lace around the Mankato area, and again Alice and Mel met us for breakfast. We feasted at a restaurant which was not opening for another hour, but they served us anyway. The kicker is that before leaving, I signed their guest book. And there in the guest book two lines above my entry, in Rapidan, MN, was an entry that said "Carole Williams, Santa Rosa CA" Well, THAT is just unreal. I don't know her, though. After chow, Sallie and Mel headed back to Wisconsin, Harold rode with me for another hour, and I went on to the town of St. James, where I finally camped in the city park by their urban lake. Delightful. Midway through the night one of the bows on my tent snapped, producing a wonderful lack of structure. And the squitos were ravenous, despite my goo. And of course I never sleep well in a tent anyway...
Hit the road at 6AM (since I was up anyway), did 57 of the fastest miles yet (13.3 mph av), and got here to Worthington at 11:30, enabling me to get to the library. Tomorrow into Sioux Falls, SD, and another homestay. Perhaps 8-10 days in SD, thence into Wyoming.
Have been playing with book titles in my mind. "Harold and the Purple Crayon" has become "Bunni and the White Line"...Laura Ingalls Wilder gives me (of course!) "The Little Outhouse on the Prairie". And Harold & Sallie, who intend to send me a complete list of contact names from here to Oregon, put a whole new meaning on the title "Going Postal". Too much head time, I know, I know. Am about to get bumped. More from somewhere in SD. I really do intend to be a good girl and ride more sensible days, so I can do this more often.
© 2000 BFZ
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