Day 6: June 19: Houlton WI to Osceola WI: 30 miles

We had a great visit with Chuck and Amanda. They were excellent hosts with beds all set up for everyone, dinner last night and breakfast this morning. We slept in and visited a little before we left, so we did not get on the road until 11:15. This was okay though because we were already planning a short day; the hills were really getting to us!

Day 5: June 18: Red Wing MN to Houlton WI: 52 miles

Long day...
Our days start was delayed as we went to check if we left anything and found that we were locked out of the room, the safety latch locked itself. The AmericInn called us later in the day and told us that we didn't leave anything in the room so that was good.
As the weather goes, not so great. We started out being very warm and then the weather changed immensely with in the next hour. It started to rain a lot and became chilly while we were going down the hills at about twenty miles per hour. I, along with everyone else, blame Chris for all of the hills because he decided to take the "amazing" MRT route, bad bad idea.

Day 5: Red Wing, MN to Houlton, WI; 58 miles??? and more rain.

Yup, they crossed back into WI for a special visit. They are staying the night at Chuck & Amanda's house (Chuck did the MRT in 2009 w/ Chris, Laura, Katie and Roger). They are now married and will VERY soon welcome their 1st child. So Chuck is staying close to home, letting TJ enjoy this trip.

They stopped in (I believe) Hastings at Green Mill Restaurant for a pizza lunch. They were able to enjoy a visit with Sheri while they ate. She lives about 25 minutes from there.

I'm posting because Chris hasn't. Hmmmm, are they that tired or did they get into a really good Killer Bunnies game? We'll have to wait for someone to post to find out.

Day 4: Weaver, MN to Hastings, MN

The group had a really good day today. With solid shoulders to ride and the wind at their backs they made it 51 miles to Red Wing, MN by 3:15. So it was a great place to call it a day. They walked into town for food, snacks and a lot of fluids.

Day 4: June 17: Weaver MN to Red Wing MN: 51 miles

Today was a great riding day - wind at our backs and another day of great shoulders to ride on. We were leaving the campground after only eating some snacks, so our first need was to find food. We pedaled about 11 miles to Kellogg and saw a sign for a cafe. We found a great waitress and awesome food. The Town and Country Cafe did not let us down. I couldn't believe how much all of us ate, especially Katie and I. Only on a bike trip could either of us eat this much.

Day 3: June 16: LaCrosse WI to Weaver MN: 60 miles

Today was a much better day with much improved weather. We started the morning crossing over the Mississippi River on the Cass Street bridge. This is where Chris gave up the mapping responsibilities to Katie. As we got into LaCresent MN, we had a little troubling finding the route. After getting things sorted out, we started with a steep climb for a mile or two, gaining over 400 feet of elevation. It was tough and the two-wheeled riders ended up doing some walking to make it up, but from the top the view was amazing.

Day 3:

Our bikers had a good day Thursday, thanks to some very nice weather. They crossed into Minnesota to avoid a soaked trail and it was to their bennefit. They met a bit of construction where they had to maneuver some rough gravel but it was for only about 3 miles. They called it a day at a little campground in Weaver, MN after riding 60 miles.

Chris is having fun at Roger's expense, and Roger is keeping count. Chris gave Roger the girls tent sheet so he would carry more weight. It's really just ounces but for Chris it was about the getting away with something. Then this morning he pulled TJ into the games by having TJ drip water onto Roger's head to wake him up.

Yup, Roger IS keeping count!! And it's only day 3, hmmm.

Day 02: June 15: Sparta to LaCrosse WI: 25 miles

Each adventure of my life has dealt some sort of new challenge or experience. Heat, cold, mechanical failures, hunger, draught, injury, or even problems with wildlife. Weather and road surface is always an issue, but today the combination worked against us in ways I have never faced. It rained all night, and all day. The bike trail was eventually soft enough to limit us to a crawl. The gravel became mud, and everyone slugged onward at a snails pace. After 2 hours, we had only progressed 10 miles.

None of our raingear kept the rain out today, but it did help keep us warm.

Day 01: June 14: Hustler to Sparta WI: 45 miles

So, this is it. Goodbyes, hugs, and a surreal feeling that today is like every other day...this couldnt' be the day we have waited for. Even biking down the trail, Katie comments that this just feels like a normal ride. Surreal was her word, not mine.

Everyone exchanged hugs.

Photos were taken, and family waved us goodbye. We pulled out of the house at around 2pm.

And they're off.....................

Laura's new bike has her faster than ever. I bet she is in the lead most of this trip. Their bags are all very heavy though and will slow them all down. I'm not sure about Katie and TJ, but Laura and Chris are carrying 47 pounds each and Roger is carrying about the same.

Let the adventure begin and I will see you all in Washington in about 8 weeks.

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