Monday, July 11, 2011

Go East, Young Men (part 11)

After 11 days and somewhere along the lines of 900 miles, we made it to Minneapolis on July 11, 1981!

Check us out all twins-y in our BHS running t-shirts...

At this point in my life I remember expecting we'd see the Minneapolis skyline for miles and miles and miles before we got there. I think I envisioned the midwest as completely and totally flat, so I literally was looking for that skyline for most of the last 60-ish miles we rode that day. Not how it turned out of course!

There was some extended rain either this last day or the day before... we can't remember which. But both of us recall it was chilly, and Dave reminded me of our Plan to Keep Legs Warm. Somehow we had the idea that slathering Vaseline on the legs would do it. Maybe so. But then all road grime within 1/2 a mile was attracted like a magnet and stuck to those greased legs. Mmmmmm, mmm.

We made our way down town and relaxed in a park:

Dave digs the view of the IDS tower.

Couple more downtown shots.

Looking for a snack :)

After our downtown rest break we struck out northward for the suburbs to my Grandma's house, our final destination. We crossed the Mississippi River on the old Hennepin Avenue bridge. A part of the road surface was metal see-through grating, a bit scary! Dave felt convince that our tires were narrow enough that they could fall through some of the cracks. But we lived to tell our story.

My bike on the bridge over the Mississippi River.

There at last!
Dave & I arrive at my grandma's house on Forest Dale Road.

Over the next couple days we hung out in the Twin Cities with my relatives. Went up in the aforementioned IDS tower one night to check out the view... see photo above!

Swam in the little lake (above) behind my Grandma's house....

Took apart bikes....

Stuck 'em in boxes...

...and eventually went home on a Greyhound bus!

We had a terrific 11 days.

Big lesson: This trip taught me that 80+ miles per day is pretty exhausting. All subsequent trips I've been on were more like 50 per day... much more relaxing & enjoyable!

Unexpected surprise: I felt inspired by and grateful for the unexpected generosity we experienced.

I was hungry for more bike travel, for sure. Didn't get a chance again until 1985, and you can read all about that in a series of posts starting here. Stay tuned for some stories & photos from France & Hungary & all points between in a few weeks...

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