Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 80, 7/27/10 - Fr. Hennepin State Park, MN

Just the Basics: 0 miles of biking and quite a bit of walking. For the 2nd time today, Becky is sitting in the library in the little town of Isle, MN, just outside Father Hennepin State Park and writing today's blog - which may be pretty brief. Riley is back in camp drying stuff off with paper towels and putting it away. He'll then walk back to town with our 3 sopped hand towels (1 each for drying us when showering in camp and one for drying the tent) so we can wash & dry 'em to use on the tent, etc. tomorrow!

Photo of the Day: Haven't got one.

Tomorrow: About 54 miles to Cambridge, where we have a motel reservation.

For Those Who Want More:

It's Raining, It's Pouring:
  • Got in around 7 last night and rushed to set up camp and fix dinner and wash dishes. YUM! (You heard about our dinner yesterday.)
  • Showered - ahhh!

  • For once in our whole history of camping we decided to leave out the dishes, towels, stove, and a few other things, leave the panniers on the bikes instead of putting them in the 2 little vestibules by the tent and escape the mosquitoes by tucking in.
  • Bad decisions.
  • A skunk and then a raccoon (who visited at least 2 times) managed to find the bread inside an incompletely closed pannier and ate all our bread and a little package of peanut butter crackers - luckily, our container of cookies was in the tent. Riley got up and scared our visitors off at least 3 times, but the damage was done.
  • Starting sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. a TREMENDOUS thunderstorm began and lasted until 10 a.m. or so! More thunder, for longer times, than either of us recall ever experiencing. Lightning. LOTS OF RAIN! Amazingly, we stayed dry in our wonderful tent but the fly that covers it got drenched as did the outsides of our panniers and all the cooking-related stuff we'd left on the table, and our biking vests which were hung on Becky's handlebars and our only 3 towels.
  • We turned on the computer inside the tent and began looking for car rentals and taxis between here and St. Paul - we have arranged to meet some of Riley's aunts and uncles for dinner on Saturday in St. Paul so we don't have a lot of flexibility for dealing with storms.
  • Eventually, rain or not, we had to get to the restrooms. We dressed and Becky dashed out for our raincoats and off we went. We then added our rain pants, made sure all our panniers were well covered and closed (yes, I know, but better late than never?), and headed for the park office and town.
  • We paid for another day in our soggy camp, picked up a MN biking magazine and walked into town, went to breakfast, and then to the library where Riley worked on figuring out a way to get us to the Twin Cities by Saturday - assuming the weather is manageable; the fall-back will be one of those taxi and/or car rental places we found on the Internet this morning. The bike magazine revealed that a trail on our MN biking map has been extended since the map was printed, so we are able to go a bit more quickly than we'd figured. The next 3 days will be something like 55 miles, 30 miles, and 40-some miles; if we can do that (wind, weather and road conditions can all affect us favorably or unfavorably) we should make it OK.
  • Hmmm . . . . .
Other Notes:
  • Yesterday evening as we biked along the Soo Line Trail near the end of our biking day, a doe leapt across the path ahead of us. Shortly after that, 2 fawns emerged from the same area and started down the trail after us, maybe 50 feet behind us - instead of across after the doe which we assume was their mom. We stopped and eventually they turned around and went back into the woods by the trail. We left, figuring they'd sort it out more easily without our presence.

  • Father Hennepin State Park is on the southern shores of Lake Mille Lacs. He was an early explorer (1680) in this area. Mille Lacs is huge and is surrounded by very popular resort areas.

  • Tonight we plan to eat in camp again - probably cheese sandwiches, canned pears, and Sky Bar candy bars - a product of the Necco company (remember Necco Wafers), which we had never seen before - according to the label it's 4 little pockets of chocolate, each with a different filling - caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge! Stay tuned.

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