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Four Corners - Day 5

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Start Location: Milbank, SD
Ending Location: LaCrosse, WI
Miles Today: 340
Trip Miles: 1909
States Visited: 7
Low Temp: 67 degrees
High Temp: 77 degrees
Min Elevation: 619'
Max Elevation: 1275'

Route Map:

Well we started out the day by attending early mass at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank, SD. When you're traveling cross country on a motorcycle, you don't want to leave anything to chance. You need all the help you can get. It was a nice church and a very nice service but not like in the Northwest. When the service was over and the final hymn was finished, we turned around and no one had left early.

After mass we walked back to our motel, packed up, and headed out on Route 12 again. I'll bet you didn't know that Route 12 was the first transcontinental highway. We'll be following it all the way across Minnesota today. Because of mass and another time zone change, we get a little bit of a late start. However the skies are clear, the temperature is great and it looks to be a great day for riding. After the first 10 miles, we cross over into Minnesota and the speed limit drops from 65 to 55. As you go further East, the speed limits drop and the traffic picks up. The traffic really isn't too bad and, for the most part, the speed limits don't bother us. The real pain is slowing down to 30 MPH for every little town - and there are a lot of them.

When we travel like this, we get tired of restaurants and fast food. So we generally pick up some fruit and cheese, and maybe some bagels or something like that either the previous night or when we see a grocery store during the morning ride. Then, when we get hungry, we look for a nice park or some place like that to stop to eat. Yesterday we found a nice city park in downtown Mobridge. Today, around 1:00 we spotted a beautiful park on a small lake in Lake Howard, MN. We stopped there for awhile and ate lunch and just enjoyed the sun.

Today we have made a change in our sort of loosely structured plan. We had thought we would pick up Route 8 out of Minneapolis and head north and through the upper peninsula of Michigan and then down through the lower peninsula and on to Ohio, where we planned to stop and visit my mother and her new husband. We decided this was a long way out of the way, we had done the drive from Northern Michigan to Ohio many times in the past, and we needed to do something different.

So when we got to Minneapolis, we turned and headed South on Highway 61. This road runs along the Mississippi River and looked like it had the potential to be very scenic. It was, that but it was also pretty crowded at times. We crossed over the Mississippi into Wisconsin at LaCrosse. Of course, there was construction on the bridge, but it didn't slow us down. Because it is Sunday, no one was working, and we sailed on through.

It wasn't until we went by a Wal-Mart today that I realized we went 4 1/2 days without seeing one. We have not seen a Starbucks either. I think both companies are missing an untapped market. Maybe there is a reson for this?

The mistake we made today was in choosing a motel. The room didn't look too bad but, after we had unpacked and settled in, we discovered there was a train track about 50 yards away and the phone line was so bad we couldn't keep a connection long enough to even get online to check email much less upload today's journal to the website. Then to top it off, Linda made the mistake of lookling under the beds this morning to make sure we didn't leave anything and found a baseball bat. I think her comment was that it was a good thing she didn't find it last night or we might have had to move. I'm just glad we didn't need it. New rule - We don't accept a room until we have inspected it first.

So, two entries tomorrow night.