Into the Manmade

September 29, 2011 – Day 21 – 35 miles

I literally surfed the waves into Minneapolis today as the wind was at my back all morning.  In some parts of the river I could paddle hard and ride the crest of a wave for 10-15 yards before slipping off it’s backend, only to catch another one.  I rarely have mileage goals, but I knew I had to make it 35 miles to where I was Couchsurfing for the night.  Thanks to the tailwind I was able to reach the city by 5pm.

It was odd to come into the city by the same river where I experienced such solitude and quiet.  Massive devices of industry overhung the river and reared their heads high above the river.  As a result of seeing the images of these smokestacks, bulldozers, and a conveyor belt which dumped scrap metal higher and higher I was continually reminded of Dr. Suess’s The Lorax.

Lucy was an excellent host and I was fascinated by her stories of living abroad.  After a wonderful dinner we rode bikes through Minneapolis, one of the most bike friendly cities in the US.  We passed scores of cyclists as my host took me on a grand tour of the city. Lucy was able to tell me all about the neighborhoods, buildings, parks, and their respective histories.  Our bike ride lasted the better part of two hours as we cruised through everywhere from the bright bustling streets of uptown to the quiet dark paths of neighborhood parks.  This is my idea of a night on the town.

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