"Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin'
And roll we did. 19 miles from Cannon Falls to Red Wing, 19 miles back. All along the swollen Cannon River we kept our doggies pumping the pedals of our bikes.
My brother Ted and I met at Cannon Falls at 7 a.m. and took off about 15 minutes later. We stopped in Welch for a potty break and then went on to Red Wing. A guy at Welch told Ted there was "nothing at the other end but a McDonalds!" Dork. There's a whole freakin' town at the other end, loaded with gastronomic possibilities!
Farther into town. Away from the trail.
Right on the edge of town, where the trail dumps out, there're a couple of shopping areas with some restaurants that were not open. We rolled up to a gas station that said it had a restaurant attached and found it locked.
As we sat there on the bench outside the gas station, chuckling at our stupidity (we had spent several minutes lining up our bikes and meticulously locking them together before checking the door), a pickup rolled up.
"Are they closed?" the fellow asked. He looked about Dad's age.
Ted walked up to the open window of his truck and told him they were closed.
"I'm hungry!" I shouted from the bench.
The guy said that sometimes Econo Foods has a pretty decent breakfast. He told Ted to stay put. He'd drive over there and look and come back to tell us.
A few minutes later he came back and said, "Well, how about Perkins?" By this time I'd checked my Magellan and saw there was one 1.2 miles up the road. Ted asked if it was that far. "Probably." was the answer.
"Throw your bikes in the back and I'll run you up there," he offered.
And so was my second hitchhiking experience of the trip.
I missed the guy's name. I made Ted sit in the middle in the guy's pickup cab (that was a humorous sight...260 lb, 6'1" Ted hunched in the middle of this mini-pickup cab and me by the window.)
The fellow, I'll call him Roy because Ted said he couldn't remember his name but it was an "old guy's name like Roy," was a semi-retired building inspector and part time project manager for commercial properties.
Nice fella. I was glad I sat next to the window. At the end of the ride he said, "Watch your arm, sweetheart," when he rolled up the window as we got out. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. But it would have creeped me out if he'd called me that and I was in the middle.
So we had an enormous breakfast around 8:30 or 9 and then hit the trail to come back. Believe me, it was a LOT harder on the way back. Poor Ted had a racing saddle on his bike, which is not terribly friendly to the bottom. And of course we were getting slightly tired. And there was a breeze against us on the way back, as well as a lot of bike traffic on the trail. Everyone was out to enjoy a nice ride on the 4th.
We got back to Cannon Falls around 12, which kind of astounded us. Could we really have taken 5 hours to cover 40 miles? So we were standing there saying to each other "Well we stopped here, we stopped there, we had breakfast." Finally I said "You know, we prolly actually covered it all in about 45 minutes if we take out all the stops."
And then we were pleased.