The reason the Mississippi runs north before curling back south on itself is glacial lorraine debris to the west, which creates knob and bowl topography, better known to you and me as constant hills and valleys, surrounded by bogs and the 10,000 lakes Minnesota uses to market itself and hide the fact that it is a breeding ground for every insect pest to be found in the forest.
Trust me, unless you are a bird or a dragonfly or maybe a fish, you want to be on the defense in this territory.
So I left yesterday, under beautiful blue skies, with an intermittent moderate head wind. Between the hills and the wind, and dealing with the last of the flu, the going was slow.
I took it easy, with stops and walking a few hills, ‘cause I knew I had all day and the open road home lay ahead of me.
About 30 miles out, the road flattened, and I was in the prairie—land of flat, real flat, and straight roads that go on for miles. I reached Ada in 7:40 and 71 miles.
Someone suggested the fairgrounds, where I camped for free and watched some of the time trials taking place at the dirt track.
They gave me my first souvenir, a Norman County Fair mug.
And so I said goodbye to the great river.