Made it to New York

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It got up to the 80s today

I had a great few days in Canada! I had Tim Horton’s in both Michigan and Canada, and I must say the Canadian version was so much better! I realized that I like the Metric system, Due to the Kilometer being a smaller unit of measure I regularly are going over 100 km a day!

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Good Weather

When I pulled into my campsite (a soccer field complex under construction.) A adorable family asked me to help them look for a Geocache, which we didn’t end up finding.

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Canadian Niagara Falls was having a Spring festival!

I pulled into Niagara Falls and they were having a super cute Spring Festival. I was really bummed out that I didn’t have any Canadian Cash to buy some of the v\cute stuff and street food. I was planning on Camping in Niagara Falls, but I was feeling like I didn’t bike Far enough so now I am in Lockport!

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This is my “I can’t find the Entrance to the Bridge to the US Face

 

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Canada!

Mist

I spent yesterday in weather that was so Misty and Foggy, that I couldn’t wear my glasses due to the water droplets. It was a fun ride into Port Huron, and Michigan has a much better management of gravel roads. The paved roads don’t turn into gravel at the county line.

Border Crossing

I found out this morning that MDOT would give me a ride across the bridge for free, when previously I thought I needed to go down to Marine City. This saved me so much time that I got to London, ON one day ahead of schedule. The only bad thing about Canada so far is I forgot that I wouldn’t have cell service, so I had to stop outside a couple Tim Horton’s and Starbucks to get in contact with my London Warmshower Host to see if I can stay an extra day!

Ontario!

So far my time in Canada has been pretty great!

Almost done with Michigan!

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Lunch on the Trail

Michigan has been gorgeous so far! Over half of the miles I have ridden across Michigan has been on Paved Rail to Trail Bike trails, isolated from the roads. The farm fields are still surrounded trees.

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Forestry

I have been have many lovely picnic lunches/snacks along the Road. I even ran into another Bikepacker in the evening on Tuesday at a campground. He was also from Sheboygan and biking on his new recumbent bike to Washington DC. I have been a little hesitant about camping on the side of the road like I did in the West as Michigan has stricter Trespassing Laws, and I don’t want to get into trouble. It is rather unfortunate as Michigan camping is kinda ridiculous. I look forward to Canada which goes back to the more lax trespassing laws :).

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Pretty Purple Flowers

I’m currently camped in Sutter’s Recreational Campground, where they gave me a biker discount! (Yay!) After I set up camp, a somewhat quiet guy came up and invited me to Dinner with him and his wife. They were both motorcyclists, veterans, and wonderful people to have dinner with. They told me about all the romantic trips they took on their anniversaries, made me a spider made out of beads, and made sure I got a s’more before I left. They were super worried about me camping in the rain, even though I was under the pavilion. They told me probably a little too much about their various medical and personal issues, but it was lovely to talk to a few friendly faces.

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Camping on a Pavilion to avoid the rain

Michigan!

I had a great final few days in Wisconsin. John and I had some great head winds. On Friday we were going to go to Lake Mills, but the only place to stay in town had reviews suggesting bed bugs, so we biked about 10 miles to Johnston Creek.

The next day we were happy that we had 10 miles less to bike because the headwinds and rain were pretty bad. We were happy to get to the Leigh’ s house! They were awesomely hospital with their food, drinks, conversation and poodles. 

The oldest gravestone was from 1822

We saw a really cool old cemetery along the way. There were many cool old gravestones.

Goodbye Wisconsin

On Sunday I had a short and sweet 13 mile ride to the ferry, where I had a quick lunch with my Mom and John, before leaving John behind to continue my mission eastward. It was nice having tailwind, even if I only biked 13 miles. I got to Muskegon right around 4, and biked a few more miles.

Michigan Trails

I was happy to get to Rockford to hang out with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins house. I hung out and was able to start catching up on watching Doctor Who. I loved catching up with my family, and I look forward to continuing east!

2000 Miles Down!

Today started out a bit cold, but it was a great ride! We rode about 62 miles today averaging about 14.5 mph. 20170518_115128

Due to the tornadoes in Wisconsin last night, we saw a bunch of wind damage, telephone pole repair, and a demolished metal shed.

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Today I also hit mile 2000 of my ride and it happened perfectly when I met up with Highway 12 for a few miles. Now both my 1000 and 2000 mile marks have happened on Highway 12.

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We rolled into Portage and had a lovely evening with our host, Andre. We swapped stories about our trips, and went out to dinner. Andre is an amazing host and let us stay with him, despite being mid renovation, and just having hosted a friend for a few days before we got here.

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Welcome to Wisconsin!

Our Red Wing Hosts,  Abra and Holly suggested that we go down to Winona via the Wisconsin side due to a larger quantity of cute little towns, and better views.

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Beautiful Weather on the Mississippi

And I must say their suggestion was amazing. Our host in Winona wasn’t going to get there until 6 pm, so we had plenty of time to look at art galleries, and eat pie. 🙂

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The Best Pie in Wisconsin

There were towns along the river about every 10 miles, We looked at the Abode art Gallery and had pie in Stockholm, Saw a winery in Peppin, and stopped for snacks along the way. The wind picked up in the afternoon, which slowed down our stopping and looking around.

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Someone made an Italian Villa/Winery in Pepin, Wi

We ran into a rider training for a Ride the Rockies, and he rode with us about 4-5 miles, letting us draft off of him. It was wonderful being able to draft behind someone in Headwinds, as so far, everyone I have ridden with has drafted behind me due to my rather wide footprint caused by my bags.

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Minnesota/Wisconsin Border

We had a wonderful dinner and conversation with our Winona host Barb. I was happy to be able to pet her cat, as May 16th was Auri’s Birthday and I missed it.

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Second Entry into Wisconsin

The trip from Winona, MN to Wilton, WI was a rather long 70 miles, with pretty severe rain, headwinds, and hills. The weather was very indecisive, and would yo-yo between raining so hard that cars would pull over to the side of the road, to relatively sunny (I removed and put on my rain jacket about 5 times.)

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The Great River Road Trail

The original plan was for us to bike the whole day on Wisconsin’s rails to trails network, but the trails were crushed limestone, which is fine when dry, but a little mushy when wet. We needed to take Highways to Wilton, which added a good 8-9 miles to our trip.

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Hiding from the rain

Tonight there is a Tornado Watch in Wilton, and severe thunderstorms, so I am super glad that I am in the Mid-Way Motel rather than in my tent. Looking outside, If I had camped, I think I may have been washed away

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I’m super curious about this tunnel

Red Wing!

I had a pretty hectic, and fun few days off in Minneapolis. I visited the Walker Museum of Art, the wonderful and somewhat stressful IKEA, hiked around the Minehaha Falls, had Lunch at the Rolfes, sat through both David’s Commencement and my own, and did this all while hanging out with family.

David loves taking selfies ❤

While David’s Commencement was quite long and tedious, I’m glad that I was able to go to show him support. I did feel bad about his 8 am final the next day, but I’m sure he is delighted to be done with school.

Graduation!

Commencement didn’t have quite the same finality to me, as I’ve been out of school since December. It was however much more enjoyable than David’s to go through due to having only 1 speech, less students, and having someone do a backflip on stage.

Tree filled day!

This morning started off nice with fair weather, beautiful bike trails and wide shoulders. My step father John joined me for a week through Wisconsin, and I was super happy to show off Minneapolis’s wonderful west river trail and many other Minnesota recreational trails.

A determined Shepard Dog

We did end up on some gravel, but while we were we met a very friendly dog. She lived on a cattle farm and we could tell she was used to herding as she tried to Herd John and I down the road. 

Red Wing, MN

We are spending the night with Holly and Abra, some wonderful Warmshowers hosts outside of Red Wing, MN (yes, they make the shoes here!) They gave us a run down of all the best places to stop on our ride tomorrow, and were great people to talk and have dinner with.

View from Abra and Holly’ s house!

Minneapolis!

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Dinner with the Rambling Pheasant RV Cluc – (Photo taken from the County-Line Campground Facebook Page)

On my Day off in Summit, I was running a little bit low on Food supplies (down to only 4 tortillas, and a half jar of peanut butter!) so I went into town a little bit. Everything was closed the day before due to it being Sunday, so today I was going to eat at the Bar and Grille in town and stock up on Groceries. I was disappointed when I got there that the Bar was cash only, and I was down to $2 in my wallet, and the grocery store appeared to be permanently closed. When I walked back to camp, I was then super lucky and was invited to a Potluck held by the Rambling Pheasant RV Club! The company and food was excellent, and I am super thankful for the food and leftovers they gave me. I was going to join them for breakfast the next morning, but I ended up talking (more like listening) to an Elder of the Santee Dakota Tribe. He told me many interesting stories about his life (He speaks at least 5 languages!) and about his family. His wife had passed recently, so he seemed like he just needed someone to talk to, so we talked for a good hour and a half and I missed breakfast with the Pheasants. I am grateful for all the wonderful people I met in Summit.

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Mill in Milbank SD

I went through Milbank, SD and a couple of other small towns along highway 12 before running into Minnesota

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Minneapolis Border!

Just after noon I reached the Minnesota Border!

Balloon

Laura’s Festive Decorations!

The Delay in Summit meant that I wouldn’t be able to bike into Minneapolis in time for Commencement, so Laura was super helpful and picked me up. I may go back to Ortonville at a point in the future to make up for the missed miles! I was greeted with many smiley Balloons and a hug before we went home!

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Only one trip to carry thing in!

I’m super happy to spend a couple days in Minneapolis hanging out with David and my family leading up to Commencement!

 

Hiding out in Summit, SD

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Long straight roads

I made it from Ipswitch to Webster pretty easily, getting into town right around dinner time. I found a free campsite and stayed over night, after stoping at A&W for a tasty Root Beer Float!

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Camp!

I was planning on getting to Ortonville, MN yesterday, but I was plagued with headwinds. With 20 mph headwinds, it took me about 5 hours to get 24 miles, which isn’t super good. I stopped at Summit, SD, because I didn’t want to get stranded anywhere without water.

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So many Lakes!

The winds are just as bad today, and when I tried to get started, I was blown over pretty quickly. The winds will not switch direction until tonight, so I will bunker down in Summit tonight. As I am getting close to Commencement, I talked with Laura about picking me up do to the wind not letting me get as far as I need to get there in time. I will try to get to Ortonville, MN tomorrow before getting picked up. If I feel like the need to be a completionist, I can ride back to the border from Minneapolis and back at a later point in time.

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I’m stuck in Summit, SD

Mobridge and Ipswitch

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The Scenery is evolving into flat farm lane. You can see towns coming up for about 10 miles

The tailwinds are dying down, so it is getting harder to do insanely long rides. I’ve gone from easy 90 to 100 mile days to having long 70 mile days. The weather has also gotten super sunny, getting up to nearly 90 degrees! About 18 miles from Mobridge my front rack broke after a few miles of rough road.

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After having the top screw fall out and the replacement screw break, the metal around the bottom screw of my pannier completely detached 

I had a lovely host, Laura, who was able to pick me up, because it is rough carrying a pannier on my back. Laura and her husband, Rich, needed to go to a school concert. I staying in their lovely RV for the night. The next morning I talked quite a bit with Rich about his life as a Rancher, then a Funeral Director and a hobbyist carpenter and leather worker.

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I am so jealous of the cows

The tailwinds finally died on me today, and the weather was very hot and very sunny. You can tell where I missed sunscreen, as I have a few lines of sun burn on my arms.

In all I am super excited because by Sunday, I will have crossed the Minnesota Border!