Day One Hundred Eighty-four, Date Monday, August 31, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:30
Distance for the Day: 54.53 miles From Grand Rapids To Alvwood, MN
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9036.0 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 987’/1058’ Highest: 1095’ Accumulated: 600’
Speeds: Avg: 9.9 mph, Max: 19.8 mph
Weather: 48° warming to low 70s, hazy/clear, inverted
I woke up and got up at 6:04am, and was broke down and ready to roll by 6:40am. The weather was clear with high cirrus overhead, but that cleared off to a spotless blue by mid morning. I went a few hundred yards over to the library, and saw that it opened at 9am, so I went a few blocks to the town’s main street and found the Brewed Awakenings coffee shop with free wi-fi (yes!) I wouldn’t even need to wait for the library. I had a breakfast of two muffins and a hot cocoa, plus two sodas a little later ($14), and emailed and blogged the morning away. I also chatted a bit with the proprietor of the shop and one of her customers about my trip. From Grand Rapids, it’s about 200 more miles to the northernmost point in the contiguous 48 states (aka, the Northwest Angle), and it would take at least 2.5 days to get there, anyways, so I thought I’d spend .5 days here in Grand Rapids, doing the computer stuff. I stayed at the coffee shop until 12pm, finishing posting the latest blogs with pictures, purchasing and downloading the soundtrack album for The Sound of Music for my iPod ($10), and then found the post office and mailed the guy’s wallet to him via insured mail ($3.50). I stopped at a mini mart in Cohassett and got food items and drink ($5). I made Deer River by 6:20pm, where I bought a small crescent wrench for my tool kit, a soda and chips ($8), before continuing north on SR 46, and saw a deer and its fawn just ahead off the road – beautiful! In my push to get at least 50 miles for the day, it got to be after sunset before I finally found a stealth camp at a public boat access to the lake, there (Shallow Pond Lake), not far off the main road (N47 45.359’ W94 16.051’). There were, of course, lots of mosquitoes. I didn’t even wait for them to find me – I just put on my rain gear and headnet, and set up my tent by 8:06pm. There was some traffic noise, but the traffic was very light, and died down as it got later, so that wasn’t a problem. I *was* going to hang my hammock in some trees, but saw what looked like poison ivy in the plants around the trees, so I just set up my tent on a level portion on the edge of the huge, wide gravel area. The weather was clear and temperate. I’d heard that the road to the NW Angle was gravel, so I’d have to find out more about it, or evaluate the road to see whether I’d be able to ride it, or not. I got in, ate my soda and chips while reading my Stephen King book of short stories until about 9:30pm, and then went to sleep.