Day 34. July 17.
John and Susan made us an awesome breakfast and John even rode with us the first few miles out of St. Cloud. I didn’t quite feel as rested as I had hoped, but we were both super excited because we were headed to Coon Rapids where a familiar face awaited us!! Our friend, John Hayden, and his wife and 16 mo old baby live in Coon Rapids and had offered us a place to stay. We were excited to finally see someone we knew!
As we left St. Cloud we caught up with the MRT or Mississippi River Trail. It goes the entire length of the Mississippi, but we’ll only be following it for a few days. It’s mostly on the road, but occasionally takes you on bike paths. The bike paths were nice, but they also can be winding and add more miles than is necessary. We were going a bit out of our way, but our other option was a busy road.
So were biking along a bike path and decided to stop at a park. I needed a break and snack, of course. As were sitting there resting, this guy who was walking his dog starts talking to Ethan. After a few minutes he told Ethan that he lived just a few yards ahead and offered us lemonade. Cool! We were not about to say no to that. We ended up chatting with him about biking and Michigan. The lemonade was refreshing and we filled up our water bottles. We are constantly surprised by the kindness of complete strangers!
We headed back out into the heat and hoped the rest of the day went fast. I was tired, so it went slow. But, we made it to Coon Rapids in one piece. We had to wait for John to get out of work so we had planned on getting Chipotle to eat since we didn’t eat lunch. However, John notified us that there was a Chick-fil-a very close to his place. I love Chipotle. Very much. But we don’t have Chick-fil-a in Lansing, sooooo there really wasn’t an argument. Sorry Chipotle. It was delicious, as always and we sat in the a/c and used the free wifi for a while.
We headed to John’s when he got home and spent some time catching up with him, getting to know his wife, Jackie,and his son, Teddy. Jackie made a delicious dinner and cookies, which we devoured as usual, and we spent the evening chatting and watching our favorite reality show, Naked and Afraid. Ethan also entertained himself and Teddy with this remote controlled ball for at least 30 minutes, maybe longer. He secretly loves little kids.
It was such a great night and we loved seeing a familiar face and talking about things other than just biking and traveling. We also felt more relaxed than when we stay with other people because we knew John and it was just great. There was also a huge thunderstorm that night, so we were extra glad we were inside. We went to be a bit late, but it was well worth it.