Friday, July 10th, 2009
Cambridge, MN to Milaca, MN (33 mi)
The wind, the wind, the wind and up hill.
Originally we planned to make it all the way to St. Joe today, where we had a nice little coffee shop awaiting us, and a tip from a super helpful couchsurfer as to a place to camp for free.
Before we left Cambridge, we stopped at a bike shop (Outdoor Edge) for a map reality check. As usual, the bike shop folk pulled through beautifully, and wisely led us away from highway 95 up to Dalbo and Milaca, which were the first two towns on our Adventure Cycling maps for this section of the trip.
We didn’t want to follow the Adventure Cycling maps beyond that, though, since that would mean missing out on 130 miles of paved bile trail, which we vastly prefer to riding on the roads. So we had a plan and some cut out bits of map marked up by the bike shop lady to get to St. Joe by means of Milaca. A bit out of the way, but much safer.
Headwind and hills can drain you pretty quick. We had to take a lot of breaks and swap leading often, and still we were worn out and in need of food and a break 13 miles in, in Dalbo. Luckily the Dusty Eagle was waiting for us, and we tore through an early lunch.
Another 13 miles to Milaca – no problem! But I had read the mileage on the map wrong and it was really more like 20. That’s not a fun mistake to make on a headwind day.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but it becomes important now. I got a horrible night’s sleep in Cambridge at the fairgrounds. It was windy and the persistent noise of the fountain reflected off of the tent rain fly and into my ears in all sorts of spacially distorted variety, disorienting me and making it very hard to fall asleep. In retrospect, I should have gotten up and rummaged around for earplugs, but do you know how had it is to get up after laying down at the end of a strenuous day?
Anyway, by the time we reached the Hardee’s in Milaca to reward ourselves with an orange milkshake and onion rings, I was done. I proposed to Amy that we just call it a day and get a room at the Super 8, which we did after some discussion, augmenting our dehydrated dinner with a bottle of wine.
Exhausted, we vegged out in front of the tv and fell asleep, setting an alarm for 10 so we’d be able to check out on time.