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.


07/09/2013 6:52am

Hi Jon,
I adjure you to consider my hero; Rosie Ruez who started the 1980 Boston marathon, then hopped on the subway and broke back into the race to finish first. You too can do this. Fly to Maine and continue your blog using stock web photos. There is no need to actually ride all the way. I have always counseled you by word and deed to avoid impossibly arduous physical tasks that serve no purpose. Supposed someone announced, “I have decided to voluntarily clean out King Augeas’ stables for no reason!” As you know, the king’s cowherds, goatherds, and shepherds drove thousands of animals into the stables each night and Hercules’ fifth task was to clean them out. To change the subject, I went into panic mode on June 29 when I was reminded by a running club member that the Cow Bell Challenge was ending in just two days! I got the dates wrong and thought I had until the end of August to get the bell. I had exactly 26 miles to go to get in my 100 miles for June. I was forced to run two back-to-back half marathons! That day I ran 14 miles. The following day, the club run was in Clermont, FL. I was allowed to put in my miles at the National Training Center track. I never knew about it. It hosts the world’s greatest runners. I had 12 miles to go and the temperature was 90 degrees with the sun beating down and no cloud cover! I was fortunate to have a club member with me the last few miles. He routinely runs 50Ks and ultras. He taught me how to put ice cubes under my hat and gave me fig newtons and energy gummy things to see me through. I drank a ton of water but my bladder was quite empty at the finish. But I GOT MY COW BELL, I GOT MY COW BELL!!!!!!!! PS: Do not buy a new car in Fargo! I know how those salesmen operate.

Jonathan Leahey
07/09/2013 3:15pm


I went to the King's stable and was presented with a Hobson's choice. So, it was to ride all the way, or not at all.

As a compromise, I do use some photos lifted from the Internet, when appropriate.


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