OK - I know i've been neglecting my blogging duties lately, but it's been REALLY busy. I've been having a great time since I left Staples. I had one particularly fun day of riding - from Little Falls to Cloquet Island. I ran into some other cyclists, Roy, Michelle, and Jerry, who are riding from Oregon to Massachusetts. We stopped and had lunch together at the local pub in Royalton, where, as we ate, two more coast-to-coast cyclists happened by. We enjoyed our meal while we traded stories and strategies, and an hour later we all headed our separate ways again.
Later that afternoon I found a quiet road that followed the Mississippi really closely for the rest of the way into Minneapolis. As the sun was setting I looked for a place to camp near the river - the romantic in me had wanted to camp near the river ever since I passed into Minnesota. I found a park, Cloquet Island Park, where there wasn't much traffic and decided to camp there. I left my bike by the road and scouted around for a spot where I'd be out of sight and comfortable. One place stood out - the island itself. The river was very low at that point, so I waded in and ferried all my gear across. It was perfect - I had it all to myself the whole night. I was not just camping near the Mississipi, but actually in the Mississippi!
Next morning I packed up, got back on the road and made it into Art Of This by 2pm.