WE finally made it to southeast Minnesota to ride our bikes along the much-touted Root River Trail and it was as lovely (and easy to ride) as advertised– at least the 15 mile stretch from Lanesboro east through the tiny town of Whalan (with its famous pie shop) and the slightly less tiny town of Peterson, where we had excellent pie at Burdy’s Cafe, an unassuming little place with cheerful teenage girls as our servers. The trail was largely flat but not dull. It follows the wide,often fast moving river for the most part, through woods and fields, past picture perfect old farmsteads, tidy towns and wooded stone bluffs. We also lucked out with the weather, low 70s, sun but cloud cover.
Lanesboro’s main drag was packed with people, cars and bikes but not awful. It’s lined with wellkept old brick storefronts. It’s not as well heeled as, say, Stockholm, Wisconsin or ticky tacky as, say, places I won’t mention.It has a nice local art gallery, a popular ice cream shop and the Pedal Pusher’s cafe, which has a hearty Minnesota vibe (the Norwegian meatballs were already sold out when we arrived at 6 pm). We picnicked for lunch in the city park, overlooking a little pond where people were fishing and families pitched tents. We particularly appreciated the public bathrooms there, at the library, with pay showers (who knew?), where we changed into our biking gear.
TOnight we are 45 miles south in Decorah, one of our favorite places in Iowa, staying at a pleasant and affordable Airbnb ($53) on a rural highway outside town. We stopped in town for ice cream and beer at Topping Goliath, an award winning local brewery. or so Dirck tells me.