Getting to Minneapolis…

I left Rhinelander early Saturday morning and got on the road to Minneapolis, thinking of getting on the freeway and doing the 200 or so miles in a couple of hours so I could have the entire day to explore the city. After about 15 miles of riding on the freeway though, I realized that I was no longer interested in doing the freeway slab even if it saved me time. I got off at the nearest exit and onto a county road. I set my GPS to avoid freeways so that it routed me through smaller backroads.

I spent the rest of the morning riding some beautiful Wisconsin backroads that wound through remote farmlands. It was easy to see why Wisconsin is called “America’s dairyland”. County roads in Wisconsin are named by letters of the alphabet, which seems confusing but perhaps it is less so if you lived there.

I rode three brilliant hours of riding through the backroads before I started feeling impatient and wanting to get back on track to Minneapolis. Since I thought that I had been heading west most of the time, I figured I was pretty close anyway, but I was surprised to see that I was almost 120 miles away! I guess my ramblings must have added about a hundred extra miles to the route. Ah well, no regrets. I needed those roads after the really dull stretches on 2 and 8 the previous day.

This time I got on I-94 and made it to Minneapolis in one shot. As expected, the freeway slabbing was boring, but at least it got me there. (And yes, I did think of you when I crossed the Mississipi, you now who you are). :P

Rolled into Minneapolis to Stephen’s place who was waiting for me with his girlfriend Ruth. They proceeded to spoil me rotten for the rest of the day. :) We had some locally made root beer (I forget the brand) and then drove to get lunch. The streets in the neighborhood we stopped in reminded me a lot of Seattle and Portland, which made me very happy. Here’s a city that I might consider living in if I were ever forced to move to the mid-West.

We spent the afternoon checking out the sculpture park (took a picture with the cherry and spoon), the Basilica and a local arts fair. It had gotten extremely humid, even more than any of the east coast cities had been, which I find makes me really tired and hungry. I had a wonderful time though and there was never a dull moment. :)

Dinner was at Noodles & Company, after which we went back to Stephen’s place to do an oil change on the SV – my first ever! I felt very proud and accomplished when we were done. ;) The chain on the bike felt fine and didn’t look like it needed adjusting, so I just lubed it and left it at that. The tires are beginning to look a little squared off, which worries me, but I think I’ll be able to make it to Seattle on them.

I had intended to get to bed early to be able to wake up early and take off, but we ended up talking late into the night. I finally climbed into bed (a very comfy one!) around 1AM.