Thursday, July 9, 2015

Embedded In the Mid-West

We left Macalester on a humid overcast day. The roadies had taken down the stage. Prairie Home Companion had moved on to the next town.  The party was over and we had major Root Beer hangovers.  
Hungry for breakfast and cruising through the Twin Cities we stumbled onto Bonnies…

Bonnie's 2160 University Avenue West Saint Paul

Handwritten menu’s and the specials are posted on the lime green walls, the waitress limped over to our table to take our breakfast orders, and deliver the industrial beverage that some call coffee. She said it was made in a Bunn.
Breakfast was good, real diner road food. The service was great. It was just what I needed.

Back out on the streets of the Twin Cities we crossed the bridge over into Minneapolis and headed down to the river walk, where the big flour mills used to be

Mills Ruins Park Washburn "A" Mill

The Washburn A Mill was the largest mill on the planet, when it opened in 1874, but May 2, 1878 a spark ignited the flour dust and destroyed the building killing 18 workers instantly. Partially because of this disaster we have workplace health and safety standards to this day.
The shattered building remains standing and serves as a museum.

Back on the bikes now we head east towards Wisconsin, and once again cross over the mighty Mississippi at Prescott, and discover  “The Great River Road” Highway 35.
What a great road. Little towns, dams, locks, hills even a  a few curves, and lots of bikes on this last day of the long July 4th holiday weekend.

The Town Of Alma "Best Town By A Dam Site"

Besides the dam and lock that we watch the speed boats use, there is a megawatt coal plant here. Good thing my mercury levels are low today.

Further down the road the mid-western language training I did with my produce man is paying off. When we stop for lunch the waitress not only makes a fresh pot of what they call coffee here but she gives me a cup of it for free.

Nesting Cranes
In a riverside park on one of our stops we find art made entirely of rubbish removed from the river.
We motor into Le Crosse for the night, and  In the morning we head east across interior Wisconsin, through rolling hills of rich  farmland.
 Wisconsin like Alaska has problems with greedy regressive republicans, and I am sure that scott and his pals the koch brothers are going to come and paint this fellows barn once they get rid of those pesky unions and the middle class…
Further along the road I wonder why the shoulders of the road are lined with horse scat, then we spot the first of several buggies, being driven by people trying to live in the past...
Barefoot female children lusting after carbonated sugar water. What will become of this world…
We are right on schedule for the second deadline of this trip the Women on Wheels rally in

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