Cannon Falls, MN to Lake Superior, WI

Mural in Ashland, WI.

The figures are all veterans; note the truck coming out of the alley, “of America.”

Berries and floaters along the Cannon Falls to Red Wing rail trail
Claire riding the trail

Okay. I was wrong. I can stand the heat and humidity of the Upper Midwest. Everything looks, and feels, better from the seat of a bicycle. We spent a day riding the Cannon Falls to Red Wing, Minnesota rail trail, a round trip of about 42 miles. On a bicycle, you sweat, and you move fast (if it’s flat) and the two combine to cool a body; one of the most wonderful things about traveling on a bicycle, as we have relearned so many times all over the world in 100F+ heat in Australia, Turkey and even Tucson. It’s only one of the best things about bicycling, but one of the best.

The trail runs along a small river (Cannon) popular with floaters; that’s what I call people who get on inner-tubes, lubricate themselves with beer and burn themselves ripe red in glorious lazy relaxation. We’ll do that someday, maybe when we visit the Big Rapids crew later this month! We took pictures and waved. We were cool, they were cool, but they probably thought we were roasting pedaling bikes, wrong, particularly since we were in the shade, and it was only about 90!

On the Mississippi waterfront, we met a couple boondocked in their motorhome in the grain-truck staging area overlooking a small marina, and decided to come back and join them for the night, and the breeze off the river made sleeping tolerable although Claire had trouble with the constant train traffic. The next morning we strolled around the small town of Red Wing (think boots) and enjoyed the old buildings and the revival we have seen in so many small downtowns. I predict urban dwellers will be swarming these small towns, buying up condos built in old manufacturing buildings, banks and mercantile spaces. As soon as high-speed-internet, fine coffee, restaurants, wine shops, regional music and theatre arrive, what’s to miss from the big city? Well, a Trader Joe’s would be nice. We had an interesting conversation with an employee (dressed as an executive) about Red Wing shoes making most of its shoes in China, except the work-boot line. Hmmmm, Guess who buys work-boots in America?

Red Wing Boots all over town, and beautiful flowers

We’ve traveled in some of those countries who make our stuff for us and those people need the jobs making stuff for us, more than our workers need the jobs. If we don’t help spread our wealth by moving manufacturing jobs to those places, those people are going to be joining the current batch of border-crossers, pounding at our door, wanting the good life we show them on the television shows and movies we sell to them now. Which do we want to do, move manufacturing jobs to the people who desperately need the work, or have them come here by the millions? Seems like a no-brainer to me. I know it is more complex than that, but not much.

Red Wing waterfront

Wisconsin has entirely too many No Overnight Parking signs. What are they so worried about? Do they think we are doing immoral things in our little motorhome quietly parked in their roadside park. These signs make me feel like a gypsy, unwanted, and usually leads me to be sure and spend as little money as possible in a place, and move on. We moved turtle twice in Bayfield to sleep, and were not noticed. After what we dropped on the kayak trip, they can’t complain, not to mention the two ice cream cones one night!

The heat, threatening 100 (with humidity) drove us to Lake Superior for a little relief. The first day was still way to hot and sleeping was difficult. So we decided to splurge on a day kayak trip along the Superior coast to look at some sea caves and cool off. We were going to rent a kayak, but it was more expensive than a tour: go figure. See pictures. I got water between my UV filter (for water protection) and most of the photos are fogged! Lesson learned.

Honeymooners!

Monday July 10. Yesterday we rode a 56-mile loop of the Bayfield Peninsula with some of the few hills we have seen in Wisconsin, for probably 2,000 feet of climbing, a nice day in cooling weather. We enjoyed the small town of Cornucopia, in particular the country store. It is too far out of the way to be too touristy, yet. We stoped to cool beside a small waterfall just before the eight-mile hill.
Store at Cornucopia, WI.

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