Day 30, July 20
Owatonna, MN, to Winona, MN
Cumulative: 2024 miles
Today's ride demonstrated conclusively to everyone that there are steeper places to bike than the Rocky Mountains. One of them is Minnesota. Of course, the climbs are not as long, but they are definitely steeper. Toward the end of a long day, we descended 500 feet on fast winding roads into Whitewater State Park 25 miles east of Rochester, home of the famed Mayo Clinics. It was a wonderful run, several miles of fast coasting. The problem, of course, is that we then had to climb out of the park, several miles of slogging uphill.
Finally we reached Winona, a port on the mighty Mississippi River. A long line of trucks were waiting to dump grain. It is sent by conveyor across the highway into a waiting barge, soon to head downriver.
Tonight I have a special treat. I'm going to dinner with my Minnesota cousin Dick Bowden and his wife Carol and with Quentin Robley and his wife Glorie Ann. I did my first-ever week-long bike trip with Dick and Quent 11 years ago, CANDISC, Cycling Around North Dakota in Sakakawea Country. "We didn't know we were creating a monster," Dick says.