Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day #19: And We're Off

Trip Route: St. Paul, MN to Scandia, MN (46 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 717

This is the first day of riding together for Jake and me. We will ride together from Minnesota to New York state.

Andy, a friend of mine, will begin his tour tomorrow. He is riding nearly the exact same route, but he will be a day behind us.

"Eye Candy Andy" is a friend from Seattle. We met about three years ago while we were working at Amazon. We both love touring, and we've done a few trips together, including the Selkirk Loop two years ago.

Andy's girlfriend, Josey, just finished law school, and Andy just left his job at Amazon. While Josey studies for the bar exam, and before Andy begins his next gig at Google in September, Andy is doing a solo bike trip.

Andy arrived via Amtrak into St. Paul this morning. Jake and I met Andy at the Amtrak station, and then we all rode to breakfast together.

Andy unpacking his bike at the Amtrak station.

Jake, me, and Andy, with our trusty steeds of steel.

Doing the breakfast thing.

It was great to catch up with Andy. You can follow his trip on Tumblr; he is "AndyKleRides."

Andy indicates proper riding style.

After breakfast, Jake and I rode back to Teleen's to pack up our stuff and say goodbye.

And then we were off! Marshall and Carenna biked along with us to the Gateway State Trail. It was great fun to be escorted out of town!

It was uncomfortably humid. Living in the northwest, I expected that it would take a few days to adjust to the midwest weather. One thing was for sure - the high humidity was a good indication of upcoming precipitation. The rain started falling about halfway to our campsite.

When we arrived at the William O'Brien Campground, we learned that the campground was full. This wasn't a huge surprise given that it was a Saturday night and the campground is so close to a major metropolitan area. The ranger set us up in an overflow section, essentially the recreation field.

The skies showed no signs of letting up on the rain, and so we frantically put up the tent, doing our best to keep the inside of the tent dry. We then stood under the protection of a nearby vault toilet roof with the intention of staying drier and warmer.

After about 30 minutes, the rain clouds cleared and the sun emerged. We dried ourselves and the tent out.

Lesson learned: As the intensity of rain storms can vary with time, it's worth considering holding off on putting up the tent.

Jake and his new turtle friend, at the campground.

As the sun began to set, an eerie fog rolled in over the campground field.

What a beautiful ending to the first day of the next leg of the trip!

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