June 11:  Red Wing, MN to Stillwater,MN  50.22 miles

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the wind is relatively calm, and we only have 50 miles to ride.  Guess the early morning breakfast detail is for some other day.  Eggs, oatmeal and fruit in the parking lot at 7AM  works for everyone.

In order to miss the Minneapolis/St Paul rush hour traffic, the route picked for today was to ride for a few miles northeast on the Minnesota side and then switch over to Wisconsin until we were far enough north to cross over the river again -- this time being half way between Afton and Stillwater.

The total ride today was wonderful.  The traffic was on some other road and the views were spectacular.  Pines, honeysuckle, oaks, maples and even clover lined the roadsides each projecting their smells that can easily intoxicate the brain.

The route followed the St Croix Trail for awhile and then switched to the Stage Coach Trail -- each a back road that wound around the countryside through fields, forests, farms, and even a llama farm or two before dumping into the St Croix River Valley.

Afton was a town buried within the forests -- miles from anywhere, but a pleasure unto itself as we crested the hill leading up to its main street.  It is a sleepy little town high in the bluffs that offers coffee and a rest to several of us after a steady climb from the river's bed.  

Down the other side of the valley and the town of Bayport appears.  Traffic has picked up considerably and the road is now four lane.  Oh -- could that be a prison on the right side of the road?  Oh -- could be, so let's just keep pedaling and turn left at the next light!

Highway 36W and up the main drag to the motel -- it is "fast food alley" now with the hope that Stillwater is not too far.

Our hotel tonight is on the outskirts of town -- but with the ingenuity of all of us -- we have figured out that a quick cab to town after a nice shower is a lot easier than fighting traffic on a bike.

Shopping, browsing, riverboat riding, or just a good dinner at a nice restaurant on the river is in order.  While not a rest night -- it is a rest "dinner" and everyone is on their own.  Oh -- to explore -- to investigate -- to just have fun in a different town!!

Frankie In The Bluffs!

On The Road!!


Frankie After the Bluffs!

Apple Territory??  Too Soon

Judy & Holly in Minnesota!

Kathy Looking for Minnesota

Sue & Kathy in Downtown Stillwater

Dinner in Stillwater!

Oh, That Riverboat!!

Drawbridge?  Lift bridge?  Oh -- There Goes The Boat!!!!