Day 46, Bowlus, MN

We no more got done with the map meeting last night when sever weather moved in with thunder, lightning and high winds. Everyone scattered to their tent and brought everything in they could. It didn’t last long though and the winds subsided, lulling us to sleep . .


. . .since we were right in town several groups decided to head downtown for a second breakfast before we left town!!!!! Only 39 miles to Bowlus, our home for tonight so there was plenty of time to dawdle.


I headed to the library but there was really no place good to sit outside and it didn’t open until 10:00am . . . so off to the local McDonalds. Sitting outside working on a computer is uncomfortable,. buggy and worst of all is the constant glare on the scree. Sitting inside takes care of all those problems. At McDonald’s there is always free, and fast wifi, good coffee, clean restrooms and after the morning rush . . . very quiet!!!!


Alice, a stringer for the local paper, stopped by to get our story. She provides stories to the paper of biking groups coming through during the  summer. She asked what my favorite snack was and I said “gorp”, Nuts, raisins, M&M’s everything you need on the bike in one handful!!!!


Soon I was down the road and around lunch time pulled into Melrose. I was going to check out this beauty of a church but the doors were locked. A Ma and Pa pair stopped by to tell me the interior had been destroyed by an arsonist last March and the authorities’ had still not caught the culprit. The locals want the church rebuilt but the Bishop in St. Cloud says it must come down. They asked where I was from, and I said Madison, WI. They seem surprised I had not heard of the fire . . .


The town smelled of turkey and here is why,. a BIG processing plant taking up several blocks If you serve a Jennie-O at Thanksgiving, good chance it comes from Melrose!!!!


They are doing the right thing along the trail with their own ‘yellow bike’ rental program  . . .


. . .a little further down the road from Melrose I came upon Memoryville. I would have liked to wander around in it a bit but all the gates were closed and I could not find anyone around . . . .


Soon I arrived in Freeport. emJay and I have driven by this little burg many times on the way up to Karen and Bobs’ and always mention how we should stop . . . to much in a hurry I guess, but I always liked the happy face on the old water tower . . .and now I was here!!!


There is a BIG sign on the Interstate for Charlie’s, so even though I had eaten my lunch I wheeled in for a piece of pie. There were Corvin and Hugh just coming out after having eaten with Bob from Sacramento, CA and Dave from Yorkshire, UK.


Bob and Dave are doing the NT too but with their wives driving a SAG RV hauling all their gear. They all sleep in it every night. Sounds  COMFY!!!!!


I stopped in at the local church,Sacred Heart. It was open and  . . .


. . . a beauty


. . . back on the trial I came to the ‘fork in the trail’ just north of Albany. On to the Lake Wobagon, – Soo Line spur that would take us to Bowlus.


. . .inspiration messages . . .what a great idea!!!!


. . . and the county or MDNR do a great job marking where there are problems with the trail. You can see a lot of fresh repairs . . . I think they get on them for repair, right away!!


. . .GREAT design for a blue bird house


. . .first time I have seen these signs specifically for Fall or Winter biking. Good idea!!!


. . . just before Bowlus we passed this place on the trail. Got to see if the bike is ‘advertising’ a Warm Showers participant!!


Last town before Bowlus was Holdingford and they had a covered bridge. We stopped for one more Gatorade.


Downtown Bowlus, pop.202. We are staying in the city park tonight. Nice site with large shade trees. No showers . . .


. . . but Yahn and Jen are Warm Shower hosts, so we walked a block to their house took showers and enjoyed a beer under their vine covered gazebo . . .


. . . great people and very generous. They own the MN Trails magazine concentrating on non-motorized trail sports.


Mike and Hugh have cooking duty tonight but we all decided to go across the street to Jordie’s Restaurant where it is all the chicken and fixin’s you can eat for $9.99. They still need to buy breakfast and lunch goodies so . . . why not just roll the cart over to the park rather than bilking over and filling your panniers. Nice living in small towns!!!!


Jordie’s is right across the street from the park and they were ready for us at 6:00pm!!!


. . .an eclectic mix of goods for sale . . .


Jordie and Beka, our server for the night.

The boys didn’t need a second call to dinner!!!!

Broasted chicken with all the fixin’s . . . I made two trips!!!

Jordie stopped by to give us the history of the place, Very interesting and creative!!!