|Jessi is sad to miss out on our ride.|
After riding a good 35 or 40 miles the previous day, Jessi realized that she was not healed enough to continue at our previous pace yet. Ed generously offered to let us stay another night with him to let her recuperate. We eagerly accepted. Since Jessi needed rest, Ed took me on a lovely 40 mile ride up in the bluffs around the river. It was SO FUN....and hard! Steep climbs and rolling hills. But don't worry, I did it! And the downhills and amazing views made all the work worth it! Not to brag, but max speed of 38.8 mph coming down out of the bluffs- SO exhilarating!
|Me and Ed, pre-ride.|
|Beautiful views up on the bluffs. If only I were a little better at my on-the-bike photography skills!|
|More gorgeous views.|
|Jessi's favorite trees. Too bad she missed out.|
|Post ride! 41 miles and a LOT of hills later!|
|Gorgeous view from Granddad's Bluff at sunset!|
|Pretty view, Amazing people.|
|Jessi and I LOVED our amazing host!|
|We're still friends, even after 10 days together on the road.|
|City lights of LaCrosse.|
|The AMAZING grilled salmon and salad dinner Jessi, Ed, and I made together!|
|Our sweet little room for two nights.|
|We really didn't want to leave!|
|Angel, Ed's guard kitty.|
|Before heading out from Ed's.|
|We got a delicious dinner and much-needed coffee at Root Note.|
|That is not natural.|
|Jessi's crazy swollen legs and ankles. She rode on anyways, though!|
After our little dinner, we finally set out with a goal in mind- Prairie Island Campground in Winona, MN: approximately a 50 mile ride. It really was SO beautiful. Riding on the banks of the Mississippi was very pleasing aesthetically. Not so much physically. It wasn't too hilly, but it definitely rolled. The real issue turned out to be the BUGS. Apparently, they like to hang out around rivers! Who knew?! Anyone who's ever gone on a road trip has seen the windshield covered in bugs. Well-that was my entire body, face, and mouth. We quickly learned the cardinal rule: keep your mouth shut and scrunch your eyes! Another little tidbit: headlamps are AMAZING to light the road, buuuuut they also attract the bugs directly to your face. So that's a win/lose. Anyways, we MADE IT! Jessi went straight to sleep. I went straight to shower. I don't know how she slept, covered in a sexy combination of bug guts and OFF Deep Woods bug spray.
|Crossing the Mississippi River!|
|A Barge in the background!|
|I tried to capture the beauty of biking the river valley at sunset, but I failed!|
|Up and At 'em at our campsite.|
|We had an amazing view from our little tent!|
|Yogurt and fruit and hard boiled eggs....Thank you very much, Kwik Trip!|
|I really think my on-bike photography is improving!|
|But then again, it's hard to make views like this NOT look amazing!|
|Jess and I in River Rider Cycle and Specialty Bike shop in Wabasha.|
In Wabasha, there was a cute little street fair going on. We explored that a bit, checked out the cute little bike shop, where they helped us out in fixing a malfunction with Jessi's bike computer, and ate some ice cream. All fun, but we needed to cover more ground.
|The ADORABLE and helpful owners!|
We biked to Red Wing, MN with plans to set up camp there for the night. Unfortunately, when got there we discovered that the campground was full. We couldn't find anywhere to stealth-camp in the city and after biking 64 miles, we were tired, and Jessi was in PAIN. we were quite unsure of what to do, but we found last minute hosts on warm showers! They let us sleep in their camper, which just happened to be set up in the backyard, airing out for the camping trip they were prepping for! I swear, I don't know how we get so lucky! They took us in at 10 p.m. and we ended up staying up WAY too late, yet again talking with them and their awesome kids!