Breakfast this morning was served me by this lovely couple, Juan and Marlis, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are among the best neighbors I ever had. Juan is part Apache, part Navajo and some Mexican. Marlis is 100% Norwegian decented. Her Norwegian family comes from the same area of Norway as myself. Funny isn’t it?
It took Juan less than a minute last night after my arrival on the neighboring camplot to ask if I was hungry. Hungry is every biker’s middlename, so I said yes. He brought me a plate with fried fish and vegetables. He caught the fish himself out of the river the same morning. It was delicious. He went on to help me build an extra roof above my tent to fend off the rain that was in the forecast. If that wasn’t enough, he brings me an extra blanket and clothes to wear, in case Inget cold. We spent a good couple hours together around a campfire. Marlis cares well for her baby.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
In the early hours both I and Juan were introduced to Pat, a camping neighbor a few lots down. Look closely on Pats arm and hat and you’ll have a key to understand a little of who you are talking to. Pat served in the US Army in Vietnam in 68 and 69, while the Tet-offensive took place. It was amazing to witness how quickly they bonded. Juan also served in Vietnam at that time. He is a US Marine Corps sergeant. They shared with me some really strong memories of what they each took part in and what they experienced upon their return to the civil world, back in the USA. I can only imagine but never fully comprehend the depth and scope of what they went through. It was touching to witness how vividly they would remember and cite their expriences, soon half a century later.
I am honored to have met you both! May you find peace within over it all at some point.
I parted with my new friends just before 9 and started biking north along the Mississippi. My goal was to reach Minneapolis, a 160 km ride. Again today I was riding next to these enormous freighttrains. Some of them as long as 4 km, some only of oilwagons, bringing petroleum products down south from the oilfields up north. I am getting to like my new setup of the bike. I sent home a couple bikebags with stuff I felt were obselete. Loosing weight is definately a good thing. I came across this shop today, in the city of Red Wings. I reached Minneapolis just before 6 this evening. I was very happy to see how bikefriendly this city is. I look forward to seeing more of this tomorrow. I was quickly able to securely transport myself from the city perimeter to the center, almost exclusively on dedicated and well marked biketrails.
So I did 160 km or 100 miles today. I am fairly satisfied with that. Weather was a mixed bag of rainshowers, overcast and slivers of sun here and there through the day. And yeah, I had my second flat tire on his trip today. Front wheel this time. Again, being on the roadside it didn’t take long for someone to pull up next to me and ask if I needed help. Turned out that this woman was married to a Norwegian too…so it’s Norwegians galore in this region. Too bad I lost my Norwegian flag, as I am sure more Norwegians would have appeared.
Tagline of today also, as seen on a church posterboard on the roadside:
“Kind words echo forever”
Goodnight! Time for some rest!