Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great River Ride – Day 1 – To Park Rapids, MN

We had planned to start our trip today after work. We hoped to leave the city by 4pm, but didn’t get moving until closer to 5:15pm. My friend Mike was almost right that we were going to leave at 6pm instead of 4. I wanted to leave at earlier to maximize the daylight. I don’t like riding in rural areas at dusk/night because of deer and poor visibility.

Babcock Park in Elk River, MN

We headed north west on US10 to get out of the city quickly, but only managed to get stuck in traffic instead. The first 30 miles of our trip took over an hour!

Mississippi River at Elk River, MN

We stopped to rest at the Babcock Park on the bank of the Mississippi River in Elk River, MN. I was here last year with my Ural. It looks much nicer with everything green rather than brown.

Ural in December:


SV650 today (August)

SV650 and Mississippi River in Elk River, MN

The rest of the ride to Wadena was pretty uneventful until we found these beautiful fields of sunflowers. We had to stop and get a picture. Too bad they were facing the wrong way.


Another field appeared further along, but it was getting pretty dark.

A beautiful sunset today.

Sunset on US10

We finally made it to Park Rapids about 9:30pm after riding 192 miles today. The last few miles were quite cold. Mesh coats on a naked bike and 65F don’t mix well. We were both frozen by the time we reached a hotel.

Tomorrow: Lake Itasca and the beginning of the Great River Road.

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  1. I am glad to see that you made it out of the city ok, albeit slightly later than planned. Have fun and enjoy the river!

  2. Well, it was a semi good start! Cold is not fun. The sunflowers and sunset are beautiful anytime! I hope the weather is perfect and you have a great day!
    Ride Safe!

  3. Where did you end up staying in PR?

  4. Gary: Thanks! That's traveling, not quite starting when you planned.

    Eve: Yea, I forgot how cool northern MN is. I should have known better. The sky is clear blue when I look out the window. Can't wait to get going!

    Jonn: Super8. It was the cheapest. We wanted to stay on the Lake, but it was getting really dark.

  5. Chris:

    glad you finally got out of the city. We have the same problem with unpredictable traffic patterns which can slow you down.

    couldn't you get one of those generic windscreens ? It would do wonders to stop the rain, cold air, bugs . . .

    thanks for bringing us along on your vacation adventure.

    Wet Coast Scootin

  6. I echo Bob, thanks for bringing us along on your vacation. And, it wouldn't be traveling if it didn't demand flexibility.

    Wave to me as you pass St. Louis. And, may you have a journey filled with only pleasant surprises.


  7. I'm amazed that you had the energy to get moving after work. Glad you got out. I could feel the cold and it was a good feeling--even if you did freeze a little. ;-)

  8. Bob: Aren't cars fun? :\

    Keith: Yes, making the trip up as you go is best

    Sharon: We've been waiting for this ride since January. No problem with energy after work. Paying attention the last day at work was VERY hard.