Monday, August 3, 2015

Minneapolis to Chicago, Day 1

7 Days Riding from Minneapolis to Chicago via mostly bike paths

Day 1
Minneapolis to Hagar City
54.2 miles
After leaving my friend’s house around 9 a.m. I hit the road, a series of self-navigational turns to escape the Twin cities. I had all kinds of plans to do 70 or more miles—not to be. There were navigational errors (lost??) as well as sun and high humidity to deal with.

By 2 p.m. I reached Prescott, inside the WI border. There is a visitor center there where I cooled off and ate lunch. Little did I realize this was too little too late. I was probably already dehydrated. The woman at the center did warn me: it’s not flat. I wanted to live in denial—or maybe the sun had already rattled my brain—so I started out with my measly bottle of water and high hopes. The temps were in the 90s and there was very little to no cloud cover. The hot asphalt radiated up as the sun poured down. 
1st view of the Mississippi

The hills killed me. For the next 19 or so miles there was nothing but hills. The downhill was non-productive for getting me up the next one. Each one felt like I was starting from zero and losing ground.

My muscles seized up and soon I could hardly make rational decisions. I stopped numerous times to rest in what little shade there was. There was also very little development ie farmhouses, lawns, in other words refuge. No wayside markers. Just road. At Hagar City (I saw no sign for Diamond Bluffs) I camped behind a shed. I had to get out of the sun and pull myself together. The owner came home and he gave me permission to stay and also told me that outside of Bay city there was a “helacious hill.” Something to look forward to.

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