We woke up to the first rooster at 4:15 am on Friday after a great but short night of sleep at the yurt, and slept intermittently as rooster two and three and four joined in and the sun started to rise. Packing up didn’t take too long and the resident peacocks saw us off as we headed back to Clearwater and the infamous Nelson Bros. truck stop for some breakfast outside at a table in the parking lot.
Much of the day was spent pedaling on roads near farms and fields and neighborhoods with lovely homes along the river and there was an unexpected trip through the campus of St. Cloud State University which was strangely quiet as is true of all college campuses now and then more river homes and farms and it was hot and sunny, and we had lots of stops for cold water along the way.
We finished our ride Friday with a white knuckled trip along highway 371 along with all of the weekend “up North” people hauling campers and boats and sometimes RVs pulling both cars AND boats, and we were relieved to get to Crow Wing State Park and to this lovely campsite on the river.
The next day we started our travels on the Paul Bunyan Trail, through the Brainerd Lakes area, with a stop for a late breakfast in Nisswa and miles of pedaling through lakes and pine trees and cattails and black eyed Susans. Made it to Walker where we pedaled into the wind along Leech Lake and settled in to our hotel, where the masked proprietor Mr. Mehta kindly let us store our bikes in the unused pool area and when we said “we may need them again to go for dinner” he said “you can easily walk to all of the delights of this town.”