Paul Bunyan Trail 2008
Plan B –
Tour de Lilacs
with great anticipation that Johnnie and Diana Lerma along with Jim and I were
looking forward to a new June tour in
River Valleys, Wisconsin.
The Monday before we were to leave on Friday, our son commented that
there was a lot of flooding north of Madison.
Over the next few days many phone calls were exchanged with master tour
director, Jerry Goldman of Pedal across
On Wednesday, Jerry called with the sad news that he was going to have to cancel
the tour. The damage was just too
extensive on many of our planned routes.
vacations scheduled and bags already packed, Plan B started taking shape.
wasn’t flooding. I made a quick
phone call to the AmericInn in Walker.
Surprisingly, they had rooms available for us.
The gas prices must be really eating into tourism.
The year before, I had trouble making reservations six months in advance.
I also made reservations in the AmericInn in Bemidji for the second
part of our week.
Driving north, we
spent our first night in Clear Lake,
weather was cool and clear on Saturday morning as we rode around
Clear Lake before heading on up to Walker.
Driving through Des Moines,
the water was about one foot from both sides of interstate 35. We saw a
baseball field that had water to the bottom of the roof on an out building.
Downtown Des Moines
had been evacuated and they were waiting to see if the levees would hold.
Sadly, we received word the next morning that at least one levee had been
next four days found us riding on the Paul
Bunyan trail and the Heartland trail.
These paved bike trails are a joy to experience.
Jim found great joy in yelling, “Car Back!” just to see who would jump.
Rain came but only at night.
The days were cool, crisp and fresh.
Lilacs filled the air with their sweet scent and I took several opportunities to
stop and stick my nose in a lilac bush.
It has to be one of my favorite scents in the world.
In Hackensack, we ran into a group of about 125 riders who
were doing a FreeWheel type camp and ride tour on their way to Walker for two nights.
It was called, “Jaunting with Jim”.
This 34th annual tour was started by Jim Klobuchar, a famous
politician, writer and bicycle advocate.
When asked, we said we were on our own jaunt with Jim . . . . .
Allshouse, that is.
Mid-week we moved to Bemidji, visiting Itasca State Park
on the way. A twenty mile bike path
circles around in the park. Many
stops were taken to study history sites and the place where the
Mississippi River begins.
had fewer bike trails, but we discovered that the county roads had a nice wide
shoulder that made cycling with low traffic very enjoyable.
While in Bemidji, the temperature
actually got warm enough that Jim was able to take off his jacket for one day.
a great week with perfect weather and good friends.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
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March 12, 2013