Monday, August 31, 2009

Day One Hundred Eighty-three, 090830 - Grand Rapids, MN

Day One Hundred Eighty-three, Date Sunday, August 30, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:56
Distance for the Day: 76.29 miles From Proctor To Grand Rapids, MN
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8981.4 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 990’/987’, Highest: 1111’ Accumulated: 1430’
Speeds: Avg: 9.6 mph, Max: 26.1 mph
Weather: 35° clear except high, light cirrus, warming to low 70s and small cumulus
Expenditures: $22

I woke up at 5:50am this morning, got up at 6am, and was broke down by 6:35am. It was pretty cold, with temps getting close to freezing, very clear skies with a bit of high cirrus, and beautiful Venus. The moisture was high, with a lot of dew on everything. I went to the mini mart in town to get some breakfast, refill my water bottles, and stock up a bit ($6) until 7:35am and left Proctor, WI along the way I was heading when I first came into town the day before. However, I noticed from the sun that I could now see, that I was heading southeast. I knew that there should be no southeast component of my route at this point, so I stopped in at the handily nearby America Inn at 8am to 8:45am to recharge my notebook and reconnoiter. It was then I found out my error from the day before, and figured out what I had to do to correct it. I phoned Auntie M and had our weekly chat (she doesn’t have a computer or internet, so can only find out what I’m up to by phone), and then I backtracked to Adolph, to get back on route. Along the way, I found somebody’s wallet with credit cards and driver license. I also found a cell phone I could call, so I called him and left a message that I had his wallet and to leave me a message. I kept going and going, but didn’t hit any towns large enough to have viable lunch spots, so, getting kind of hungry and needing to take a pee, I stopped off the highway from 1:30pm – 2pm at a railroad switch track (East Switch Floodwood), took my pee, and set out my tarp, tent, and tent fly to them dry, and ate a banana, a bag of choco peanuts, and had a cheese/meat stick. After my stuff was dry and re-packed, I took off and almost immediately hit the town of Floodwood, which had mini marts and even a Subway, but now I wasn’t hungry! So, I decided to wait until I got to Grand Rapids to find the Subway, there. I did stop at another small town along the way to stock up on drinks and supplies ($13). Then, Hwy 2 became a little kinder, and a little more cruel, too; its shoulder became wider and smoother, but now it had endless miles of expansion joints – the big, deep ones, that make you go ka-THUNK, ka-THUNK, every several seconds. The road was actually newly repaved, with a clean, smooth, black resurface laid over it, but they left the shoulders as they were. I hate it when they do that. It got so annoying, I took to watching the rear traffic for clear periods, and would ride out onto the roadway to avoid the joints for a little while, until upcoming traffic would show up, and I would move back onto the shoulder, again (ka-THUNK). I pulled out my iPod, and found that listening to music helped me to ignore the repetitive jarrings a lot, so I gaily rode into Grand Rapids at about 6:30pm. I found the Subway, got a meal deal ($8), recharged my phone and notebook, and did some blog writeups until about 9pm. I also checked my phone messages, and the guy whose wallet I found left me a home phone number, so I called and we figured out that I should mail his wallet to him. When I finally left the Subway, a bunch of teenagers in a car got interested in my trike and story, so we chatted a bit, and then I left. It was dark, now, but thanks to the Street Atlas 2009 mapping program, I knew where the library was, and figured I could hole up near there for the night. Indeed, I found a very nice site: a large, open outdoor tent, kind of like a band shell, in a park right next to the library (N47 13.904’ W93 31.455’). I put my tent up inside this big tent that had a clean concrete floor, and hopped in with a Squirt soda, trailmix, and book at about 9:40pm. I read for a short while, and then went to sleep. There was some kind of industrial plant nearby, which made a constant white noise, but it wasn’t a bother (thanks to earplugs).

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