Fun ride on a beautiful day. Minnesota wins so far for their bike paths and the small towns along the path win for dressing up the parks and areas around the path to invite people to use them. I saw lots of families out and one HS cross country team out for a morning run.
I had a smilestone today with 2000 miles complete. I stopped to call Marian and while I was taking to her a west bound cyclist stopped to talk. His name was Dan and he left from Portland Maine headed to Portland Oregon. We had a great conversation but I couldn’t help but think about those math questions “two bicyclists both named Dan leave opposite coasts at the same time one traveling east at 15 mph and the other one traveling west at 16 mph where will they meet” – the answer – just outside of Brennyville MN.
I stopped for the night at the most fantastic place run by the most generous and gracious couple. Donn Olson and his wife Sherry returned to his family’s farm in Dalbo (pop 50) after 30 years in the army as a helicopter pilot. In 2006 he noticed 2 cyclist pushing their bikes past the construction on the road in front of his farm. They asked if they could camp on his property and he said yes, offered them the use of the shower and bathroom. When they told him they were on the Adventure Cycling route he called the headquarters and told them any cyclist could set up camp there whether they were home or not. The next year 30 people stopped there. Now he averages between 150 to 200 a summer. Along the way he has converted one of his barns into the most amazing place with bunk rooms, a common space, a stocked kitchen (pizza, ice cream, breakfast food, drinks, and lots more), a shower room, and “out house” with a flush toilet. And if the facilities weren’t enough there is Donn. He meets every cyclist he can and asks about your trip and where your headed then pulls from his collection of maps and gives you the local insight. Two other cyclist (Jerry and Heidi) joined me at the bunkhouse that evening and Donn sat out there with us till around 9:30 swapping stories. It was a sacred time.