DAY 37   JULY 3   56.1 MILES

A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke.                                                                                           Scott Stoll

After a great night's sleep and an excellent breakfast, Brenda and Bunny drove me back to the campsite and I pedaled off toward Osakis,  pronounced Oh-Say'-Kiss.  This was a change from our original itinerary because our team leaders chose a more southerly route than the original.  The next few destinations will vary as well.  

Today's ride traversed the Lake Wobegon Trail for the entire way 
(No kidding, there really is a Lake Wobegon).  It is the best bike trail I have ever seen.  Over 140 miles in length, it is ten feet wide and paved its entire length.  When there were occasional frost related breaks in the asphalt, they had been filled with a tar-like substance and, as our wheels crossed them, they were barely perceptible.  I wish they would instruct the road departments in the New England states.

The trail meandered occasionally but usually was quite straight and nearly level.  It passed through corn fields and heavily forested countryside.  There were a few covered bridges but also many instances where the trees formed a natural canopy overhead.  The day was slightly warmer than yesterday and an absolutely perfect day for riding.     
We met several interesting bicyclists along the trail.  Most were local riders out for the day but a few were riding the US from west to east, the opposite of our journey.  One old traveler was spending a month riding around the Minnesota area and will next head for Texas before winter sets in.  Another mentioned that her daughter and son-in-law, both professionals living in Seattle, have sold their cars and now depend totally on their bicycles and buses for transportation.  I believe we will see more of that happening in future years.  But I think I would like to keep at least a couple of cars.  

Tonight, we are staying in the Osakis Lutheran Church which has been so kind to open its doors to us.  There is no hotel in town so I have staked a claim to the sofa in one of the side rooms.  I should be comfortable but not nearly so as last night. 

Incidentally, this town is located next to a large lake.  It is called Lake Osakis.  It is just fun to say Lake Osakis aloud.

Tip:  Exercise for a healthy heart!  
(It was on a sign today)