Marie woke up feeling better. The Palmer House fed us a gigantic breakfast- neither of us could finish. Of course I did order the steak, 2 eggs, pancake, and hash browns... for $9. The pancake was the size of the plate and 1 cm thick.
We didn't wake up until 8 am, which was just as well because it was raining. The weather report called for clearing and 8 mph winds from the SE- and we were headed NW. A pure, undiluted tailwind.
We hit the road around 10:15, got on the Lake Wobegon path, and shifted into the big chainring. Sweet!
You can see the county road paralleling the bike path. We got another beep-beep and wave from a pickup truck, from someone who presumably recognized and endorsed long-distance bicycle touring.
Every 7 miles or so, there was a small town. I am told that the steam trains needed to take on water that frequently, so towns were located at 7-10 mile intervals. Some were charming:
Some were not.
The terrain started to get a little wilder with more naturalized vegetation.
The grass is almost as tall as I am.
Birch trees. Sure sign of being up north.
Maybe they only have 10,000 lakes in MN but we saw a lot of them.
Notice the white bird, I'm guessing a snowy egret, hanging out on the railing.
At one point we came across this sign:
Whiskey tango? Marie said, now take a picture in both directions:
According to research we just did, the wetlands to the south flow into a chain of rivers ending in the Mississippi. The lakes and wetlands to the north flow into the Otter Tail River, eventually ending up in Hudson's Bay.
We also passed by a statue of a Viking, commemorating the Kensington Runestone- a large stone that is supposed to show that Lief Erikson was here in 1362. Its authenticity is controversial.
Even though we got a late start, we rolled into Fergus Falls around 5 pm, having averaged 13.3 mph moving average as opposed to our normal 12. So we got a 10% boost from the tailwind.
Tomorrow our destination is Fargo, ND. Our ACA maps want us to take an 88 mile route; google maps suggests a 57 mile cycling route. Guess which one we are going to take? I will just wear my orange shirt, and Marie will wear her new pink one, and surely we will be given a wide berth by passing motorists.