A Week to Go!

Ilinois 7 400px days to Lake Itasca!

Wheel full 70px A few days ago I asked if anyone wanted to try to guess, without reference to a map or Google, which of the ten states on the banks of the Mississippi River are located on the right (east) bank, left (west) bank, or are on both banks.  Oh, and mid stream islands don’t count. I didn’t get any takers, so I’ll wait one more day and post the answer if I don’t hear from anyone.  Here’s a hint in the hope that it will get someone started thinking about this.  The State of Illinois has land area on both banks, famously at Kaskaskia, where the original capital of Illinois was located.

Kaskaskia Map

This sort of thing generally happens when the Mississippi leaves its former bed and creates a new channel, usually as the result of a flood or similar occurence.  The process often leaves “oxbow” lakes, and we’ll see a bunch of those the further south we get (hint, hint).  We’ll ride into this bit of Orphaned Illinois, which cannot be reached directly from the main part of the state over on the east bank, just a little over a month from now and shoot some pictures of a place not many folks have seen in person.

Wheel full 70px Here’s a little more help- just circle your answers.

Which Side

Wheel full 70px Gary Schmidt is already in Minnesota visiting friends and family during the time remaining before the end of the coming week. I’ll fly out of Alaska on Thursday morning and join him at Itasca State Park the next day.


See, I Told You I’d Be Here Today

WI Master 400px days to go!

Wheel full 70pxMy itinerary has me leaving Anchorage the morning of the 24th, arriving in Minneapolis late that evening and meeting up with a long-time family friend.  We will overnight near St. Cloud at one of her children’s residence, then leave on the 25th and drive the 150 miles/240 kilometers to Bemidji, Minnesota, the closest town of any size to Lake Itasca.  There, I will go to the Northern Cycle bicycle shop [link], where the good folks there will have assembled and checked out my beloved Surly Disc Trucker.


Continue reading



Wheel full 70px Well, no.  Really it’s just a box.  With a bike in it.  My bike!

Wheel full 70px I’m, as you have probably guessed, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Nobody told me it would take an hour and a half to get to where I’m staying from the airport, or that I’d have to change buses three times, or that my checked baggage- the two rear panniers- would have not shown up on the carousel.

Wheel full 70px But none of that matters right now.  I’m here.  The bike is here.  And all the rest will work out.

Wheel full 70px Right?

Wheel full 70px I’m exhausted.  Time for bed- catch you in the morning.  We have a bike to put back together.

Whee Boy Howdy!

Wheel full 70px If the Delta departure counter area at Tampa International Airport is any indication…


I was at the end of this line over an hour ago

…you might want to delay your travel plans or choose another carrier.  My experience once at the counter to rebook and check my panniers was that Delta’s computer system is still not all the way back up.  Many Delta flights out of this airport this morning were showing as cancelled.  I have now been rescheduled for the fourth time and leave here late this afternoon.  Not complaining, mind you.  Lots of people were inconvenienced far worse than I was.