Date: June 28th, 2019
Miles Traveled: 41
Weather: Partly cloudy and HOT
- Packed up camp at around 8:00AM and continued along highway 35, what the locals refer to as “old 16”, for dozens of miles.
- Experimented with ways to keep the sun off of my neck.
- Rode into Luverne, Minnesota and decided to check out a place called the Rockland County Historical Society. There, we met Betty, a 97 year old sweet heart of a woman who serves as the head steward of the museum. Betty not only gave us an exceptionally detailed tour of the facility, but also introduced to us what is thought to be the third largest nutcracker collection in the world, a collection originally started by Betty herself. The museum had an astounding variety of artifacts, including historical farm equipment, a fire truck from the early 20th century, old photography equipment, clothing worn by early settlers, and of course, every kind of nutcracker under the sun.
- Having been informed by Betty that Jim Brandenburg, a long time photographer for National Geographic was a native of Rock County, we pedalled a couple of blocks to visit the “Brandenburg Gallery”, a public gallery of his most famous photographs consisting of beautiful landscapes and captivating wildlife.
- Had lunch at a small diner in Luverne called the “Fine Dine Cafe”, a diner that I can only describe as “comical”. As we walked into the colorfully painted shack, obscure rock ‘n’ roll blasted from the speakers and we were greeted by a waitress with a casual “hello”. Menus hung from the ceiling via pull chains and the words “No Music, No Cook” could be read on top of the grill. The cook, presumably the owner of the restaurant, rocked a tank top, basketball shorts, and sweaty shoulder length hair. This place oozed cool. After munching on delicious burgers, we were served tiny cups of Italian ice, as advertised, before walking from 1969 back outside into the year 2019.
- Continued along old 16 for a little over 20 miles before making it to Sioux Falls, where we received a warm welcome (accordion and all) from my two of my friends from college, Mitch McDaniels and Steve Solkela. Having spent much time with these two back in New Jersey, it was quite surreal reuniting half way across the country.
- After showering, having a lovely dinner with Mitch’s family, and catching up a bit, Mitch drove Steve, Frank, and I into downtown Sioux Falls to see well… Sioux Falls, the cascading waterfall for which the city is named. After walking around the falls for maybe half an hour, we inadvertently witnessed a proposal from afar in which the dude performed an entire 3 minute song prior to the question. Needless to say, we went apeshit when his partner said yes.
- Later in the night, we got ice cream at Culver’s, a burger/ice cream chain that I is absent from the East coast, before heading back to Mitch’s home for the night. All in all, it was a great day, despite the heat.