Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 4 of the Ride: Cook to International Falls: 73 Miles!

Watercolor of the view from Bob's tent at Cook, Mn.

This Blog Post is authored by John M.  
Tuesday June 14, 2011

Well, last blog posting left off without describing the incredible scene at the VFW that persisted into the evening.  The tired bikers got the Juke box going and lo and behold the “beer barrel polka”, “the chicken” and other such songs were freely found and the group started experimenting with these dances to the point that the rafters started to shake, rattle and roll.   Dan showed he had not forgotten his Iowa farm  roots and his dance moves from those days attracted  all eyes and before long others were showing off new moves that almost brought the house down.  Eventually, the music switched to a California songs that could be found in the Juke box like surf city and the like. Finally the group disbanded to hail down the tents for another night of sweet dreams of our wilderness bike riding adventure to come and another night at another High School on what they call out here as the “range.”

Morning found the group awakening to the most magnificent rainbow which was almost perfectly proportioned over our encampment which at night looked almost like a collection of wigwams of yesteryear. This is depicted by one of Bob’s water colors- see the that part of the Blog.

Breakfast was served and included eggs, one roll per person, hash browns, sausage, coffee apple juice and orange juice.

We were out of there by 7:00 and on the road attempting our longest excursion yet. The goal was to reach International Falls- the ultimate destination of our trip-the border town separating the United States from its sister country, Canada. It was not always called such a cosmopolitan name as International Falls.  It was originally LePlue (meaning misty falls in French) by the French that discovered the place.   When the English, and later the Americans came, they  preferred the Indian name for misty falls, Koochiching and that was what it was actually called  until the city adopted the modern name. The county is still called Koochiching  County.   It was 78 miles from our wigwam encampment.

Today was also unique because there were no organized stops which created some  new issues.  One was the issue of lunch.  An innocent restaurant along the way became the random spontaneous selection of a number of Bikers, and like sheep the rest followed.  With one worker on staff, this could have been a disaster but for some key bikers who took charge, Bob(not our Bob)  but Bob the on the bike patrol, started taking orders, serving the tables, taking the money and before long all were served and satisfied and on the way. He did not work there but showed how industries our fellow bikers can be.

But opps where was our Bob’s back pack with his wonderful drawings of  our trip contained inside?  It was no where to be found, but, then Bob remembered, he left it at a previous stop.

It was found and brought to Bob in the most amazing way. The establishment where Bob’s back pack was left made contact with another straggling biker from our group that mosied in the door. That was Ann, former biology teacher at Berkeley before working for Monsanto and 3M. She was asked to deliver it to the owner and she did. Eventually she was able to get it to Bob and the pictures where there and saved.  Thank God. 

Today we passed such places as Ash River, Rat Root River, and Pelican Lake- to name a few. The view was stupendous and included peeks of lakes, windy rivers, mushy bogs, all intertwined in a green forest surrounded by a mostly royal blue top. Yes the ride to the border is about to come face to face to the rugged Canadian border – a border separated by a forested lined river called Rainey River.   And we would soon be there with a lot of tenacity and work.  And there we all were riding with Gusto- a sight to behold.  I can still remember Pastor Casper giving us his spiritual reading- today it was “forward,” yesterday it was go for fun, not just to survive.
First into International Falls was John- then the rest. His three speed bike once again showing it can keep up with any Bike here.  Tents were risen.  People are gathering now to determine what we are going to be doing for two nights.  What a luxury – not to have to take down the tents at least one night.

It was scheduled to rain today and tomorrow in International Falls where we are, but it is just perfect.  Most of the group is going for the boat ride on Mount Rainey. Some are going to see the town.

John ran into a local on a Bike who had to see his vintage huffy.  He was impressed and felt his three speed was better than most, if not all the modern graffite bikes out there today.   One might think of him a little odd. But we found out that he was  a Spy for the United states during the cold war. He caught Puton on the West German side of the border in the 1970s taking pictures of Western Military sites.  Later he was serving with the Reagan and Bush administrations on government preparedness during emergencies.  He recommends the Chocolate Moose as the best restaurant around.  It is on the American side.

That is all for now- everyone is ready to go to dinner.
Route from Cook to International Falls:  71 Miles

The City of International Falls

Rainbow over Cook at 5:30 AM

Breakfast in the Cook High School Gym

The road goes on, and on.

First stop at the Lutheran Church

Bob's bike gets flat tire, thanks Pat for the repair

and on and on and on...

Road Kill

John and Bob ride'n the Walleye

"Not so bad" John

Bob and Ellen jump behind the bar to assist with lunch

yard art

finally after 75 miles... we arrive

Statues in every town in Minnesota

Camp in International Falls


1 comment:

  1. While these apple pie, lemonade and water color blog posts may be fooling your parole officers and entertaining love ones back home…. Many of us are not buying it's the whole story…Not even for a mexican handlebar minute! Peppy LePlue??? Bikers Coffee??? Koochiching?? Wigwam Encampment??? Hello....Is there a problem officier?

    Your California fancy bike pants and taste for designer pancake syrup will be a certain tip-off to Canuck Border Patrol to ask to see what you guys got stashed in your International Falls shaving kits!

    Minnesota Busted!