I have so much I wanted to write about today but I have a raging headache so that may get difficult. You’ll also have to excuse the convoluted madness I may post.
Last night I camped. I did not sleep well. I woke up in physical pain at about 1am. My chest hurt. The actual bones hurt. I don’t know why. Perhaps I was sleeping on my arm or something. Regardless, I tossed and turned for hours, in and out of sleep until finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I just got up. With a bad headache. Yay.
I got packed, popped some pills and got on the road. It was 52 degrees out when I started rolling just before 7am.
I put about 60 miles in before I found a little cafe and went through the breakfast routine. It was nice and quiet which was good because I still had the headache. Let’s just go ahead and say I’ve had it all day. I’m just barely keeping it from being a migraine, which would not be good.
I got to the only Harley dealership I was going to pass in Wisconsin just a few minutes before they opened. Two Vietnam vets were sitting outside smoking and joking and so we talked for a short while. I gave them one of my cards. I got my chip and then sat in the parking lot plugging my days waypoints into the nav.
My route would take me winding through northern Wisconsin, up along Lake Superior, back into the interior for awhile and then up to cross the border into Minnesota near Duluth.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love trees and it has been interesting to watch the forests change from lush deciduous to sparse pines. It almost reminds me of the tundra and forests in Alaska.
As I left the Harley dealer it began to sprinkle on me. The forecast said their was a 0% chance of rain. Looking at the skies it looked like it wouldn’t get much worse so I didn’t stop for any rain gear. The temperatures hovered in the high 60’s and low 70’s until I got near Lake Superior. Then the winds came on strong, the temps dropped and again with the rain. I was freezing but it still looked like it would pass so I just kept going.
When I turned away from the lake back into the interior, I started a little bit of a climb. I’m not kidding when I say that in 10 miles, the temperature went from 61 to 80. It was almost like being wrapped in a warm blanket.
And then I turned back towards the lake and Duluth. Freezing again.
I want to mention that all throughout this trip, the bugs haven’t been that bad. Ever since I’ve been in Wisconsin and Minnesota though, it feels like I’ve been hitting birds for 100’s of miles. At one point a construction flagger stopped me. It was only him and I and so I turned off the bike and we chatted for a minute. I was instantly swarmed by millions of gnats. It got so bad I couldn’t breathe without inhaling them. That’s not a joke.
In Duluth I got lunch from a place with the worst service ever. Just really slow and inept.
On my way through Minnesota I continued to admire the forests and the farms. I can’t imagine why people live here. 8 months of the harshest winters and then your four months of decent weather is just enough to get warm.
I did cross back over the Mississippi again near Brainard and at this point it is hardly noticeable. It feels good to be on the right side of that river.
I kept thinking this trip that at some point I’m going to cross some imaginary humidity boundary. I haven’t found it yet.
I’m camping just past Detroit Lakes Minnesota, near Long Lake. It’s deathly humid. The camp hosts say that this is unusual. It has already been sprinkling on me a little. I’ve got all my gear stowed where it may survive some rain. I still have holes in the roof of my tent so something is bound to get soaked. I really hope it just passes over. I need some sleep tonight.
One other thing. Something I’m reluctant to do but I’ll put it out there and you can all do as you like. I’ve had several donations and several others have asked how they can help. I’ll give you my Venmo and PayPal addresses and the rest is up to you. Yes, I really appreciate any help. Thank you.
Pictures like this never turn out the way they look in real life. This is a farmers field, at sunrise, just before crossing from Michigan into Wisconsin. It just felt peaceful. I had to share it.