Day 21: Alexandria, MN to St. Cloud, MN
We woke up at the Arrowhead Resort outside of Alexandria, Minnesota. I slept in today until about 8:30 AM, as opposed to my normal 6 AM wake up. I didn’t have as many miles to do today so I thought I could use the rest. The problem with this plan is that I still ended up finishing later in the afternoon when it is very hot. Anyway, the resort is very nice and situated on Darling Lake. I started riding just before 10 AM. I knew I had about 70 to 75 miles to do today.
The good news is that I was on bike paths all day. I started on the Central Lakes Trail and pretty quickly got on the Wobegon Trail. I should have no complaints at all about being on these trails, but man they just keep going. Probably because of my expectation of a slightly shorter and easier day, it ended up being more mentally challenging than it should have been. It felt like it took a long time to get to my lunch spot – Albany, MN – which was about 50 miles in.
The really good news is that the trail is maintained well and I’m constantly riding by bodies of water. It is also most definitely the start of fall here. I did not notice fall until I got to Minnesota yesterday. Maybe that’s because there is a serious lack of trees in the sections of North Dakota I traveled through, but once I got to Minnesota it was very apparent.
During lunch, I downed some caffeine and a massive Red Bull that was big enough to put a horse down ... and that helped my energy in the afternoon.
The last 24 miles or so went a little bit quicker partly because I stopped a number of times to get some photos and videos. I’m now in St. Cloud, Minnesota, which is situated on the Mississippi River! Pretty wild to think that I have ridden from the West Coast to the Mississippi already. Sometimes it seems like I’m not making the progress I need to so I look for these highlights to help me mentally feel like I’m moving forward.