First a correction to yesterday's post. There were showers at Frontenac State Park. I took advantage of them, even though it was a good 3/4 mile walk to get to them, and when I got back, I was all sweaty again. At least it was "fresh" sweat.
So, the title of today's post has nothing to do with today's ride, but has everything to do with a middle of the night pee. I woke up last night because, well, I had to pee. As I looked out my tent door, I saw a little flicker of light coming from, what seemed like, the trees. I didn't think too much about it, but when I got out of my tent, I could see several flickering lights. Yes, yes, yes, they were fireflies!!! I've never seen them before! It was so cool! I stood outside watching them for several minutes. I'm usually not thrilled to have to get up in the middle of the night, but now...I think I'm looking forward to it!
Today I continued following the MRT more than Northern Tier. I stayed on Hwy 61 to the outskirts of Wabasha. MRT continues to follow the river pretty closely. There is a section of the Mississippi from Lake City to Wabasha that is called Lake Pepin. Really, it's a wide part in the river.
|Lake Pepin/Mississippi River|
|Lake Pepin info|
The MRT got off the highway, and took a cool bike path into town along the river. I came to the Eagle Center where we had been in March.
|Bike path in Wabasha|
Working my way through town, I stopped at a pool to use the restroom, and fill my water bottle. The MRT continued on a county road running parallel to Hwy 61. The shoulder wasn't as wide, but there was much less traffic. It did return to Hwy 61 a mile or so from Kellogg. At Kellogg, the MRT and NT are the same. I stopped at a park for a snack break.
Working my way along the next section, enjoying a nice tailwind, I met two touring cyclists going the other direction. The one guy was really loaded down with large Arkel panniers. I thought they were either doing all of the MRT, or Northern Tier. Actually, they were on a four day shakedown ride in preparation for riding from Seattle to Minneapolis. I can't remember their names, and they thought my name was Pauline (the second time in three days I've been called Pauline--the first time was yesterday--it was funny--I tell this guy my name is Colleen. I ask what his name is. He says, "Guess". I'm thinking, how in the hell am I supposed to guess his name? He says, "If your name is Pauline, what is mine?" I said, "Oh...your name is Paul. But my name is Colleen, with a C."). I don't know...maybe I should change my name...Anyway, I felt bad for the guys because they had a nasty headwind. At least they would be turning soon.
My plan was to get to John H. Latch State Park. I got there at about 12:30. I took a spin around the small park, got a few mosquito bites, and decided to continue on. Another Minnesota State Park disappointment. In hindsight, I don't think the camping symbol on my map was for that park. I think it was for a fish camp place a little further on. Anyway, it was too early. I looked at the next possibility for camping. It was a city park in Winona. It was about another 13 miles. That sounded good.
Prairie Island Campground is a nice place. It's pricey at $27, but there are showers, and my campsite is close to the river. I'm sure the mosquitos will get bad as the evening approaches, but for now I'm enjoying watching the dragonflies. The temperature is pleasant in the shade, with a nice breeze.
Total miles for today: 61