Unable to take it any longer, I suited up and went out to the garage about 11:30. Cool hazy fog was what I left in and cool, hazy fog is what I came home in. One time and only one time, did I see the fuzzy outline of the sun. Oh well, it was a great ride though not a very efficient one; I made 74 miles in about 3 hours. I'll never be an Iron Butt'r at this rate.
My handy, dandy, always along thermometer....
I headed toward Red Wing, wondering if the steep-closed-in-winter road up to Memorial Park would still be open. The park sits on a steep bluff, the downtown area of Red Wing snugly rests between the bluff and the river.
Only a hint of downtown today, no clue as to there being a Big River very near.
This bluff as well as others in town were once quarries, the limestone used for many local building projects. This area has changed since I saw it last, so some exploring was in order. I'll soon be walking up on top of that distant mound.
This is where all of our local prominent sacrifices occur; luckily I wasn't among the Chosen this year. 2013 may be an entirely different matter.
Looking downriver, this view is normally spectacular. It didn't help that the steep climb into the park put me even deeper into the mist. bob, this one's for you....
From there it was out of Red Wing, out to the Cannon River Bottoms and where the Cannon meets the Mississippi.
At the end of the road, a backwater channel of the Miss. River. This is the mainline of the Canadian National Railroad that follows the west side of the river.
For some odd reason and I'm not sure why, the highwater marking on all of the trees from last spring's flood seemed to tweak my equilibrium a bit.....or....maybe it was due to the fact that the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant is less than half a mile from here.
A huge contrast between last year's flooding and the current very low water conditions. You can see how high the scooter is above the shoreline; the water mark on the cottonwoods was roughly shoulder height when I stood next to the Yamaha.
More hazy river bluffs. Honestly, I enjoy this weather and being able to actually be outside and feel it, just not so much for riding.
Back out to exit the Min. Maint. Road and around the corner to Treasure Island, our casino neighbor. This was only the second time I've actually been there. Our family stopped years ago for the buffet one evening and we've still not ever been among the noisy, brightly lit machines.
Here I'm in the parking lot between the Convenience Store and the Car Wash, the hotel, marina and casino in the distance.
Up the curvy and now mostly obsolete County 18, towards Welch. I thought about stopping for coffee at the Trout Scream Cafe but pushed onward to the Cannon Valley Bicycle Trail Parking Lot.
I spent 15 minutes 'selling' scooters to a bicyclist that had ridden over from the town of Cannon Falls, the western portal of the trail. He seemed to be impressed with my long, low machine and he wasn't even on a recumbent.
Trail Map mural...
Just around the corner is the Welch Village Ski Area. They were busy today and this was the only snow I saw today, though it felt like it might start snowing at any point on my ride.
Just before I pushed it into the garage....