Miles: 61.2

Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1486.2

Weather: Sunny, Warm

Hillbilly Insults: 0

Roadkill: 7 (15 Birds, 1 Snake, 6 Chipmunks, 2 Skunks, 1 Turtle, 1 Badger, 6 Unknown)

Bugs Swallowed: 1

Mean Dogs Chasing: 0

Animal Rescue: 0


Minnesota must have lifted the arbor ban imposed by Eastern Montana and North Dakota.   The land of 11,842 lakes has not disappointed, thus far. Relatively cool and mosquito free, I'm having a charmed day. 

Traveling with one less bag. Hope "going light" doesn't burn me later.

The Gopher State is frequently cited as the most progressive state

 In the country.  Take that Oregon and Vermont!  It rubs raw the Glenn Beck crowd with its five million inhabitants benefiting from a good economy, a good educational system and top-notch healthcare.  It must be the Nordic European influence:  funny accents, naturally conservative but politically liberal.  As a result, Minnesotans never met a tax they didn't like.

"One of my best friends, Theresa, is an Iowan, but exemplifies what is referred to as "Minnesota Nice."  It's essence is wrapped in a set of attributes that include smiling stubbornness, forced politeness under stress, unbounded humility and passive hostility when rage is justified.  I love it when Theresa uses the word “different” to mean inferior or ghastly. 


I arrived late in Pelican Rapids and met 

Andrew, Gretchen and Honeybear, the proprietors of Riverview Flowers and Gifts.  They were very accommodating and had me over for a drink and friendly conversation.  Minnesotan affability looks to rival Montanan congeniality and North Dakotan graciousness.  It must be all the suffering through Siberian winters that makes Northern Tribes happy to be alive in the summer. 

The land o' lakes appears to be a perfect a slice of Americana as can be.  Yet, Americana is often a scary, terrible thing.  Think Michele Bachmann.  We shall see, we shall see. 

Shameless plug for Great Northern Cycles in Fargo. Neat shop housed in the old train depot. Excellent staff with 27 years if experience.