Today was an 85 mile day with only 900 feet of climb in it. This made the day very level. The few hills were less than 50 feet high and some of them were more than a a couple of miles long. So it was hard to tell if you were actually climbing or not. The only real way to tell was to watch for the crest of the hill.
However let me start at the beginning. I rolled out of camp by myself as I did not see any of the usual suspects around and there was a slight tail wind blowing and I didn’t want to waste time looking around.
The low hills and smooth road put me down the trail at a good clip. Before I knew it I was down at the state boarder between South Dakota and Minnesota. A quick picture and I was on my way. About ten miles from picnic I had picked up several cling-ons. So I stopped to eat my banana in a pull out. The Clingo-ons rode on and left me in peace. That is until the cows came. The pasture had a herd of cattle in it and as soon as I stopped they all came running over to see what was going on. Maybe they thought I had food or was food. It was hilarious watching all these cows come trouping over mooing and snorting.
Picnic came up at the 42 mile mark in this little town park. I remember it from four years ago and I think it has suffered the loss of a quite a few businesses and residents. The little grocery store was closed and they were in the process of tearing down the old elevator as a new steel one has been erected.
After lunch I had another 43 miles to ride so I didn’t linger at picnic and got out as soon as I could. The slight westerly wind had shifted to the south but it had not picked up any strength. The south wind was bringing up the temperature.
At one point we crossed a bridge which was really the top of a weir. Below the dam was a flock of pelicans. They are pretty unusual for Minnesota. There were 8 swimming around catching fish when they came over the weir. As I watched 4 more flew in. They would open their wings and come to a complete stall and the drop vertically in to the river. Up higher in the sky was another flock of 12 more. They were circling around on the thermals without a single flap of their wings. It was pretty neat.to watch.
The last 8 miles of the road turned directly south and now the south wind has gotten to be pretty strong. Lucky it was only 8 miles of head wind.
Tomorrow is 92 miles and the temperature is getting back to more normal (hot).