Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Minneapolis to Chicago, Day 2

Day 2
Hagar City to Perrot State Park
76 miles
I was up and packed early. I ate only crackers before leaving, but made sure I had 2 water bottles handy. I wanted to attack the impending hill early before the heat got too bad. I probably started ascending around 7 a.m. and it WAS NOT as bad as what I encountered the day before. So rest, hydration, and beating the heat were key to the rest of the trip.

There were wayside rests and historical markers. And, most importantly, the hills disappeared. Most of the smallish towns are about 7 miles apart. Even though there are bakeries in Maiden Rock and Stockholm, I was too early. I was able to find breakfast in Pepin at the Homemade Restaurant. Because my stomach was still not up to much I order 2 eggs and tst. The bill came to $5.89. I know eggs are getting pricey but I didn’t think it should be so much. A few days later I ordered the exact same breakfast and it came to $2.39.

In both Maiden Rock and Stockholm there appeared to be riverside camping, possibly free. When I passed (early) there were fishermen already drunk and boisterous. So not sure how quiet or safe these sites are. Also in outside of Alma there is Reick Lake Park were there is camping available.

The sky was again flawless and the temps were rising. Humidity was also an issue. I pulled off in Alma for a Gatorade. When ringing me up the woman mentioned that egg rolls were on special for $1. I shook my head no. I never eat gas station food. But then I thought, I need calories and grease. It was the kind of thing counter-intuitive for a healthy person to do; but desperate times call for desperate measures. Kwik Trip became my go-to stop after this.

I ended up buying a second Gatorade down the road in Fountain City before turning inland to look for access to the Great River Trail.

Great River Trail from the Marshland Access point: don’t do it. Set up for mountain bikes rather than cyclo-tourist. Also trails were unmarked and confusing. I reached a parking lot and still not sure turned left and then managed to hook up with the ACTUAL GRT trail which took me into Perrot State Park.

Where is camping, where do you register? Coming in from this side you need to ride 1.5 miles to the EAST ENTRANCE to register—mostly all uphill. I had to get off and push the bike up. Very mentally defeating after what seemed like a good day. The good news is that they will never turn away a cyclist. You don’t have to pay a vehicle fee and it was only $14.

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