Journey to the East: 5 July 2012


Park in Stillwater

In the tree’s shade –
A wind,
Travellers both.

Back on the fire
Back on the road today after my long break at my cousins in Minneapolis. Huge thanks to my cousin and his family for the hospitality and the help in getting me ready for the next part of my travels. It is hot again, if not quite as scorching as yesterday. Still upper 90s with some crazy high dew point. I followed a Google Maps route from Maple Grove to the Gateway Trail which I rode coming in. However the Google Maps bit was tough as the trail network here is so extensive that there are splits, connections and side paths off all the wild. So GM has instructions that just say ‘go 285 feet and turn right’ with all those options on the trails this can be hard to stay on. So I got off route all the time and ended up riding nearly an extra 10 miles. I was happy to hit the Gateway Trail for sure. From there it was an easy backtrack to Stillwater. A rested for a bit in Stillwater then rode the seriously steep hill out of town. The ride was pretty flat though in e sun for the next 12 miles or so but after the town of Afton there were several long, though not overly steep climbs. None of these were welcome in this heat. Finally arrived at the Afton State Campground which had hike-in campgrounds only. I’m all for that but there was a crazy steep hill with loose gravel surface I had to push my bicycle up to the ground. Once there though the sites were excellent – among the trees and grassland on a ridge above the Saint Croix River.

hot summer night –
the moon’s rising glow
faintly echoed by fireflies

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