Part I - July 24 Minneapolis, MN
Jul 27, 2016
|Dalbo, the rain is finished, the morning is beautiful and we said our farewell to Donn Olson last night!. We are armed with his great directions and maps and off we go to Minneapolis and my reunion with Candy, my high school friend and her great husband Eric!
The morning ride was perfect and cool. Not too much sun to start with, a smooth road and the route was exactly as Donn had described it! We got off the main road and made it to Anoka by 9:00AM! In my usual impatient style and excitement, I had it in my head we were almost there!! Eric and Candace had offered to meet us downtown Minneapolis and guide us thru the intense network of bicycle paths to their house!! We had plans to make contact at noon but suddenly we were almost there!! (Or so I thought!). Thought it was best to give them a heads up for an early arrival!!
We stopped in the shade of a tree to give Eric a call. Didn't want to catch him napping when we were making such great time!! While we were stopped and I was on the phone, Randy; a bicyclist heading in the OTHER direction made a B-line over to our side of the road and he and Mike chatted while I was on the phone. By time my conversation with Eric was over, Randy had offered to personally lead us thru the bicycle trails of Anoka and get us to the Mississippi River where we were sure to find our way. (Or not!)
And he did just that! We weaved and turned and dipped and rose thru the maze of trails in no time flat! On our way I learned of a new road hazard never before considered until it was in front of me . . . Or over me! Low flying geese! We turned a corner and into a gaggle of slow moving geese, most of which refused to get out of the way and only a few begrudgingly made an attempt to fly out of the way. One goose made a late slow take off, just ahead of me on what seemed to be a direct collision course!!! He just managed to get his heavy body high enough to clear my head and as I looked up in disbelief at the close proximity . . You guessed it . . .The hatches opened and he let loose with a load of poop!!! Just missed me!!!!! So gross!! The moral to this story is don't upset the geese unless you have an umbrella!! (Sorry, just have to include ALL of my adventures and near misses!)
Our new best friend and "trail fairy" Randy dropped us off at the Mississippi River, gave us a few verbal directions which seemed pretty easy as he spoke them! We could not convince him to have a coffee of morning snack with us, but he did give us his phone number in case we needed anything! Off he rode into the maze of trees and trails on his brand spanking new touring bike!! Thanks Randy, you were a life saver!
We followed his instructions, sort of . . . This side of the road and turn left, or that side? Follow the signs? Go over the river?? Good thing he was kind enough to give us his number because we lost the trail. Again you can blame it on me because I WANTED it to be a bicycle path all the way to Minneapolis, but it just wasn't that way. And we were standing next to the Mississippi River and the trail just stopped. I don't blame him, Randy answered the phone with the encouraging words "well that didn't take long!!" We had to laugh right along with him!!! He sorted us out, he knew his stuff and once again we were off to Minneapolis!
It took us two hours to cover the next 20 miles!! It was a bike route, but not necessarily smooth or easy to follow at times because so many different bicycle trails would converge in one spot!! But we did follow it!! In the meantime, patient Eric and Candy were waiting for us because of my bad judgement!! It all had a happy ending, we finally arrived downtown and quickly spotted Candy as she jumped up and down on the trail waving madly!! Very exciting!! Before we left the city, a quick trip to the 9th floor of The Guthrie Theater to have an aerial view of the newly completed Vikings Stadium. It opened to the public yesterday and was completed to the tune of $1 Billion Dollars!!!! The only picture I could get was thru the yellow sun screen on the 9th floor window! But the stadium will only be two days old just once, and today was the day, so we have a picture in yellow to capture the moment!
Candy led the way home. It is Sunday, a beautiful Sunday and Minneapolis is a very outdoor oriented, activity driven city!! Everyone and their brother was on the bike path, or in the park; riding, walking, running, wind surfing, lying on a towel, sitting on a bench, pushing prams, walking children or dogs or both. I think we saw more people in the hour's ride home than we have seen since leaving west coast of Washington all together!! I told Eric I feel like the Clampetts driving thru Beverly Hills in their truck!! Our fully loaded bicycles were certainly one of a kind!! But people would follow and chat while trailing behind! Or shout out as we passed!! Very cool!!
It was so great to arrive home and relax! Being the wonderful friends that they are, lunch was on the table in no time as we sat on a beautiful deck with shade, breeze, lunch and a good catch up on news!!
We stayed for a whole day with our friends. Monday started with coffee on the deck . . . Is there any other way to start a Monday?? Then a few catch up details for us. Bike shop for new derailleur and chain for me. Walmart and laundry done, time to relax with a few Cosmopolitans and dinner!! Thank you so much Eric and Candace for your amazing hospitality and wonderful friendship!!