We slept in by an hour or so in celebration of Rachel’s birthday. As we headed out of Pelican rapids, it began to rain. It would continue to rain most of the day. After about 15 miles, the thunder sounded quite close, so we rushed into a nearby barn to wait out the storm. We watched an enormous storm move over the area on the radar maps on our phones, and eventually felt comfortable riding again. After another 10 miles, we were starving. We stopped at a convenience store for some junk food and a coffee, and then headed on for another 10 miles, when we arrived in a town with some lunch options, Battle Lake. After having peanut butter-banana sandwiches for breakfast, and being trapped in the rain, we weren’t too keen on making sandwiches outside for lunch. So we stopped at Stella’s for grilled veggie sandwiches, and we ran into all 8 cyclists that we’ve been seeing the past few days. Among them, Scott was about to depart via car with his son so that he could get to Minneapolis in time to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife.
As usual, people were pretty curious about our trip. When we asked a man about restaurants, he asked where we were headed for the day. When we said Long Prairie, he said “that’s not bad. You can do 60 more miles.” It was about 2PM and raining at that point, but we mostly agreed. The next person we ran into, after asking the same question, said “There’s no way you can do that.” He proceeded to tell us that it was incredibly hilly and that we couldn’t handle it. This just made us more determined to finish the ride, so we pushed onward through the moderately hilly terrain, through the consistent rain, and eventually were rewarded with an hour of dry weather and pretty views as we headed into Long Prairie. Of course, then it started to rain again. We were happy that we had already decided to stay in one more hotel for Rachel’s birthday.
today’s distance: 98.2 miles
time in saddle: 9 hours, 9 min
total distance: 2,080 miles