I had a glorious day of cycling today: perfect weather, virtually no wind, very low traffic, great roads. I’ve now crossed the US border into Minnesota and am camping in the busy
seaside lakeside resort of Warroad. It feels like the sea because Lake of the Woods is huge and it’s got that seaside feel to it.
I’ve just had locally caught Walleye at the Lake Side Restaurant and it was excellent. Unfortunately I don’t have my gear with me so I can’t import my photos from today but there were many.
Last night I got a nice little surprise when I flipped open my iPad and for the fun of it checked for wifi. It worked! The Steinbach campsite has wifi and didn’t even mention it.
Waking up to a sunrise at the Steinbach Campsite
I saw a lot of wildlife along the road today: deer, falcons, and flying horses. The horseflies were particularly interesting. At first, there was just one circling me as I was riding. A few minutes later, two. And then four and then six. Now this is starting to get annoying. It’s ok while I’m moving but what will happen when I stop? I’ll be eaten alive, that’s what!
So I went into a higher gear and sped up to 25kms/ hour. Then 30. They’re still with me! Next, 35 and then 40kms per hour, My legs are really burning now, but they’re still with me. I don’t believe this! I’m already planning my next move: stop, dig out my tarp, get under it, and scarf down my lunch in the heat of the sun.
But a funny thing happened: when I stopped the horseflies kept on going! It seems they were just hitching a ride to the States to pick up a pack of Virginia Slim Jims. This really happened, Scouts honour.
The grasslands along Highway 12 south of Steinbach
About 110kms from Steinbach and finally there’s a restaurant off the highway in Sprague. Folks are really friendly and they happily got me a cup of coffee. You see I was literally falling asleep on my bike. Not enough sleep last night I guess.
By 4pm I was crossing into the states being interrogated by the border crossing guard: Alcohol? None. Cigarettes? Nope. More than ten thousand dollars? I wish. Ok, you can go.
Minnesota! I can stick another pin in my National Geographic wall map.
By the way, for all the talk of mosquitos in Manitoba, I didn’t see any. Not that I’m complaining or anything…
You can’t mention Warroad without talking about Marvin Windows and Doors which has a massive factory here and is obviously the main employer.
You also can’t mention Warroad without mentioning hockey. For 50 years the Warroad Lakers won just about every tournament they entered, in the US or Canada. I can’t figure out why the Warroad website keeps referring to the team as “infamous” though. Maybe it’s because they seemed to have kicked every other team’s ass they play?
Tomorrow I continue on for another
150kms 95 miles to International Falls MN. Then I’ll cross the border into Canada and I’ll tackle Quetico Provincial Park which is almost the size of Algonquin Provincial Park. I’m psyching myself up for that and I think it’s going to be an awesome adventure. I’ve checked the weather and it looks pretty good for the next week. Tunder Bay, here I come (mis-spelling intentional).
Distance traveled today – 147kms
Moving time – 6 hours and 52 minutes
Moving avg – 21.3 kms/hour
Elevation – 330m