6/23/19 - Lindstrom, MN to Cumberland, WI : 64.2 miles.
After a beer at the RV park watering hole, we returned to our tent at sundown where legions of mosquitoes ambushed us. After getting in our tent, we spent time swatting numerous bugs. Hundreds of mosquitoes lined up on the outside of the mosquito netting searching for an entry point or waiting for us to emerge. We fell asleep listening to the high-pitched whine of the mosquitoes.
When Betsy got up to pee, hundreds of the pests got in the tent. We repeated the bug swatting for 20 minutes and slept fitfully. At first light, rain fell. We needed to be in Osceola, WI at 9 am to meet Betsy’s former Nature Conservancy colleague, Wayne, and his son, Dakota. To make sure we’d arrive on time, we packed our gear inside our tent while mosquitoes massed on the netting looking hungrily in our tent. When we emerged, the rain abated. We moved fast and loaded the panniers on our bikes and wheeled them to the RV park bathroom for breakfast. There were no bugs in the bathroom. (Wish you were here!)
We saddled up and rode 16 miles to Osceola. Just before we crossed the St. Croix River (the first officially designated Scenic Riverway in the US), rain fell. We crossed the river and entered Wisconsin (see photo). We biked into town and waited under a gazebo for Wayne and Dakota. They arrived punctually at 9 am. We enjoyed the best breakfast of the trip at the Watershed Cafe. After saying our good byes, we biked 8 miles to St. Croix Falls where we got a WI state highway map. Betsy bought a pair of biking gloves at the Cyclova XC bike shop. We then biked east for 2 miles on horrendously noisy and busy US Highway 8 to buy food. While Betsy shopped in the grocery store, I ate two double cheese burgers at a Dairy Queen. After 2 more noisy miles on US Hwy 8, we turned north on Hwy 35. The din of traffic diminished. We biked east for 8 miles on CR 1 to Balsam Lake, then rode on several county roads trending east and north.
At one point we became disoriented with the many zigs and zags but Betsy got us on the right road. The final 27-mile push to Cumberland took us on more county roads with lots of ups and downs, minimal traffic, and no rain. We celebrated arriving in Cumberland by downing a half gallon of chocolate milk and checking into a motel to dry out and escape the bugs. Showers and dinner improved our spirits considerably. We’re happy to be dry, warm, and bug free.