Hey there! I am back from my little adventure. I had such a WONDERFUL time. Despite a day of crumby weather the time spent bicycling, eating, talking, playing games, and just plain hanging out was really fun. Made me wish I would have stayed the full 4 days.
I got to Lanesboro about 3:30 on Monday afternoon. I assumed that the friends I would be riding with would still be out on the trail. So I set up camp!
My humble abode!
The view from my front door.
Lanesboro has this cute city park that lets you camp for $15 a night. There is a main camping area but you can also pitch your tent away from the hubbub of it all and closer to town (and the hotel your other friends are staying at that you can’t afford). My friend Jackie from Eau Claire has camped here almost every bike trip and she was happy for the company. She also brought tons of food and is quite the experienced camper so I was glad she was my camping buddy!
Here she is at breakfast one morning.
After I got settled I headed over to the Brewster’s Red Hotel to meet up with the gang. The tradition of going to Lanesboro started back in 2004 when two people I met in Eau Claire Dan (who I worked with) and Nancy (his wife) ended up at Brewster’s and road every mile of the Root River Trail. Anyone Dan and Nancy met who like to bike they told about their Lanesboro trip and invited them to join the fun. I’ve gone to Lanesboro 4 times and every time I meet someone new. Sadly, Dan and Nancy moved to South Carolina last year and weren’t able to make it to Minnesota to ride with us. Fortunately some of us are still keeping the tradition alive!
We enjoyed a lovely cook out on the patio at the hotel. The rest of the group was pretty tired as they had ridden to Fountain which is about 22miles with a HUGE hill at the end. Plus we had a long day ahead of us on Tuesday so it was early to bed for the whole group!
I spent a somewhat pleasant night in the tent except for my “neighbors” who kept me awake with their quaking!
Jackie and I ate breakfast at camp and then headed into town for a little walk and to meet up with the rest of the group.
Lanesboro and the area around it is so picturesque!
We met up with the rest of the group who were eating breakfast at the local bakery.
Starting on the left and heading around the half circle: Jackie, Mark (own of Brewster’s) Frank, Lori, Jim, Noelle, Lynette, and Renee.
After breakfast it was time to saddle up for the long ride to harmony. We stopped about halfway at Preston and with some creative use of the self timer got a group shot!
Left to right: Me, Jackie, Jim, Lori, Donna, Frank, Lynette, Noelle, and Renee.
After Preston the ride got BRUTAL. For about 10 miles you are literally headed uphill AND we faced an incredibly strong head wind the entire time. We finally got to the top. You can tell how challenging the ride was by this picture.
It felt so good to lie down! The reward for making that brutal climb was PIE!
Last year I lamented the fact that there was no pie when I got to Harmony reason being these little restaurants make homemade pie but only so many so by the time we got there last year there were no good flavors left! This there was plenty to chose from and I got the Raspberry Cheesecake. It was TO DIE FOR!
Before leaving Harmony we had to stop and take pictures of the goofy statues just outside of town.
The ride home was much more pleasant as we were headed downhill and had the wind to our back most of the time. I did pretty well for not having gone very far by bike this year. I’m not saying 45 miles was easy but I didn’t feel too awful afterwards. I definitely wanted a cold beer and shower though!
We cooked out again but our party was cut short because it started to rain! We gathered under the porch at the hotel and hung out for awhile. Fortunately Jackie brought her rain hat.
We also celebrated the tradition of passing on the Yellow Jersey. Renee got it for on Tuesday since it was her inaugural ride to Harmony and she survived! You can also see Mark wearing it in the bakery photo, he got it on Monday for being such and excellent host all years the group has stayed at his hotel.
Sadly the rain did not let up…at all! It rained all night and I even had a few puddles in my tent the next morning! Nothing to worry about though, I survived! The next morning it was STILL raining! We decided to try and wait out the rain with hopes that things would clear and we would still get a good ride in on Wednesday. To bide the time we played cards. Perfect way to spend a rainy day if you ask me!
A rainy day in Lanesboro.
Sadly the rain did not let up until much later in the day and there would be no bike riding on Wednesday. I had to head home since I taught classes at the Y this morning. I decided to stay for an early dinner at the Mexican restaurant in Fountain but I had already packed my camera!
I bid my friends both old and new goodbye with promises of staying the whole 4 days next year! It was such a wonderful time, such great people and good fun! It also got me more excited about biking! I definitely want to get out and ride more! It was a perfect mini vacation!