Oh, yeah, forgot to add these from last night: after our biggest ride yet, we had a great dinner to celebrate. MJ started out with a raspberry cosmo…
…and ended with a yummy chocolate lava cake.
After a restful night at the Astoria Motel in Hastings, we biked down Vermilion Avenue to Emily’s Bakery and Deli for breakfast.
The very handsome Dakota County Courthouse.
What!?! We are going up that hill already?
Partway up the big hill we entered into the Recreation Area.
We rolled along past houses, farms and pumpkin fields!
We pedaled through Cottage Grove….
…where Rick surprised MJ with this shiny red Corvette, to match her bike and panniers!
Still very rural as we entered St. Paul Park.
Just $10k for 37 Willies! Maybe this is better than the red Corvette?!
Soon we could see the St. Paul skyline ahead, including the Basilica to the left.
The trails left a bit to be desired. With the help of another biker, we hoisted our bikes over a concrete barrier about a mile back. Now we understand why it was blocked. Three quarters of the trail had collapsed!
But things got better as we neared downtown St. Paul. There was a lovely bike trail along the river.
A local cyclist urged us to try the food truck at the City House, a restored grain elevator right on the river.
Friendly staff served us a Cubano sandwich and a walleye bowl!
Then we cycled northwestward along the Mississippi parkway, getting this glimpse of downtown Minneapolis. Biked past MJ’s old haunts from when she lived in St. Paul…35 years ago!
Then we came to a place where the river completely blended into the shore and covered the trail with even deeper water. Thank goodness the trail was clearly blocked! We had to turn around and bike up the steep hill to the main trail.
Ford Dam near Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul.
Rush hour traffic begins by 3:00 on Friday!
This is the bridge that Rick crossed daily from the East to West Bank Campus of UM during his formative years!
The Weisman Art Museum, on the UM Campus, was built by renowned architect Frank Gehry. And Rick just loved the stainless steel look!
Here we are at The Nature Conservancy office in Minneapolis, conveniently located on the bike trail and next to the river!
The TNC team from MN-ND-SD shows off their strength with MJ!
Then outside we catch up with colleague Matt, who was just leaving for his 7 mile commute home.
This is a vibrant part of the city, with old warehouses and flour mills being rehabbed and restored. And lots of groovy urban dwellings going up everywhere!
The scenic old stone arch bridge.
And thankfully it is almost time for a Grain Belt Beer!!
Here we are at Sunny and Phil’s recent residence…
And now we are at their new residence just a half a mile away!
Woo hoo! Trip complete! It’s great to be here!
Stay tuned for final thoughts and reflections . . .