Which is all to say...DONE! Yep, I finished! Somewhere around 4300 miles, 12 states, and two Canadian Provinces.
I'm glad to be done. I think the weather has been telling me it's time. It was pretty cold again this morning. In fact, I rode in my long sleeve shirt the entire day (okay, I could have taken it off toward the end).
My concern about the Gandy Dancer Trail did not materialize. I did the trail, but did not see another soul.
|Gandy Dancer Trail|
It's funny--Wisconsin charges to ride their unpaved paths, and there is no one on them. Minnesota, on the other hand, paves their paths, and charges nothing to ride them. There are tons of people riding the Minnesota paths. Hmmm...of course, that's just my limited observations.
I had one final second breakfast in Osceola, Wisconsin, just before crossing the St. Croix River into Minnesota. The Belgian waffles were pretty good.
I was pretty lucky because the St. Croix Bridge is due to close on September 11. If I had taken more days off like I originally planned, I very well could have been coming back at, or after that time. It would have sucked to have to detour to another bridge. As it was, I rode across, and into Minnesota. Sadly, no Welcome to Minnesota sign.
|St. Croix River|
|Minnesota over there|
The worst part of today's ride was the headwind when I was heading south. But, I guess I can't really complain too much because I could have had a lot more headwinds coming west.
I haven't seen any other touring cyclists for many many days now. For my last day, I met Reed and Nu (pronounced New, but I'm guessing at the spelling). They were heading to the UP in Michigan. They were riding road bikes with very little gear.
I finally made it to the Gateway Trail. The first part was not part I had done when I left Minneapolis. I came to the junction of the Gateway Trail and the Browns Creek Trail (to Stillwater). This is where I had turned on my way east. Of course I had to stop.
|Where I had been 81 days ago|
There were two guys there, Dave and Lloyd. I told them I had been there 81 days ago, and in the meantime had ridden over 4000 miles. The remaining part of my ride was the stick on my BIG lollipop ride. They were impressed. They said I had great legs for someone who is 52. I said I was 55. Dave said he was going to guess younger. They were funny guys.
|Dave and Lloyd|
The last 20 miles took me past the big snowman in North St. Paul, to the end of the Gateway Trail (close anyway), through construction on Wheelock Pkwy (that wasn't there when I left), past Como Park and Zoo, through the craziness of the Minnesota State Fair, and back to My Sweet Baboo and Little Miss. Grayson was sleeping when I arrived (the only way Mallory had gotten him down for his nap was by telling him I'd be there when he woke up).
When he woke up, we did the same photo we did when I left, only this time Harper is also in the picture.
I'll compile some stats for a final post later, but this tour is fin, fine, fertig!
|What's this telling me?|
|I think I'm getting the idea|
|Oh yeah...I'm at the END!|