Northern Tier Cross-country Cycling Tour, Hayward Sortie

July 12 to July 16, Grand Rapids MN to Hayward WI

Hayward Sortie map

7/12/05 TuesdayMcGregor MN
7/13/05 WednesdayCarlton MN
7/14/05 ThursdaySolon Springs WI
7/15/05 FridayHayward WI
7/16/05 SaturdayHayward WI

7/12/05 Tuesday, McGregor MN 42 miles

Maddy doing paperwork Maddy has settled into the tour leader job. She doesn't seem to mind having to do homework on vacation. (Brendan's photo)

It felt like a short day today. Don, Maddy and I got into Aitkin Lake Campground near McGregor MN before noon. It was very hot and muggy. As I was finishing my shower it started to rain heavily so I ran back, put the shower cap on my Brooks leather saddle and dove into the tent.

7/13/05 Wednesday, Carlton MN 60 miles

Jeanne drinking a beer inside her mosquito head net The mosquitoes were horrendous this morning. Even with full rain suit, mosquito net over helmet, and Deet on ankles, hands, and neck I would get bitten on the face by swarms of mosquitoes as soon as I lifted the net to take a bite of breakfast. This is RonP's photo of Jeanne one evening with her solution.

Stream in Jay Cooke State Park For our last night in Minnesota, we are camping at Jay Cooke State Park near Carlton.

Tents with washing hanging to dry Every sunny day is laundry day.

Dual photo of Brendan and Don cooking

For dinner, Brendan cooked the chicken while Don make the hors d'oeuvres.

During the ride I made several phone calls, including one to my boss at home discussing the voluntary severance program (VSP). It was a stroke of luck that I had agreed to stay on a few months after I would have liked to leave. Now they are going to pay me to retire, exactly what I was planning to do anyway!

Later I checked my email at the brand-new library in Carlton and FAXed my VSP application at a local Wells Fargo office.

7/14/05 Thursday, Solon Springs WI 58 miles

Wisconsin sign Cooler weather + few mosquitoes = happy campers. We're camping in Solon Springs WI. We had ice cream after dinner at a Dairy Queen across the road.

My damaged rear rim As I was re-truing my rear wheel I discovered the Bontrager rim was badly cracked at a number of drive-side spoke holes. I hustled back and forth to a phone booth a half mile away and arranged for Rivendell to send a new wheel to a bike shop a few days down the road. I hope the rim survives until then. (This photo was actually taken 7/18, by which time the rim was barely holding together.)

7/15/05 Friday, Hayward WI 42 miles

Short day today. Camping at KOA in Hayward. I stopped at the New Moon bike shop and finally found the Third Eye bar-mount mirror I wanted.

Wes has announced that he wants to finish the tour on his own. He will lay over with us tomorrow then head off on his own. Eric will be doing a 3-day side trip so we are down to 9 for a few days.

7/16/05 Saturday, Hayward WI 11 miles

Layover day in Hayward. Don has discovered cracks in his rear rim also so he ordered a new wheel at New Moon bike shop to be drop-shipped to Escanaba.

Giant fish-shaped structure at fishing museum We rode into town, and toured the fishing museum for $6.50 (not worth it) ...

Log-rolling contest ... and saw the lumberjack competition for $9.00 (worthwhile).

Dinner was on the "pad" at a local restaurant. Cook crews try to underspend their budget so that we build up a "pad" for emergencies and luxuries. My crewmate RonE and I bought lunch and breakfast supplies at a local supermarket and carried them back to camp in panniers.

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