Friday, June 10, 2011

Head Trip

I woke up this morning in an AmericInn room in Walker, Minnesota.  That was as close to my destination as I could manage the evening before, having bailed out of WI and made it across three quarters of MN.  This morning it was an easy drive to my ride place, Itasca State Park, the source of the Mississippi River.  It is a lovely place...spacious, beautiful, well designed and managed, a real gem and rightly so. The Mighty Miss drains roughly 41% of the surface water from the continental 48. And what better place for it to start... 1 out of every 16 acres in Minnesota is covered by water, more than any other state. These and many other facts are conspicuously presented in clever ways throughout the Park (i.e. wall placards above the urinals.) I took a few happy snaps today. Enjoy.

Meet the Green Latrine, seen here on the Itasca bike trail. I rented the thing in Geneva, IL after waiting half a day for them to get it ready.  It's kaka on wheels. One of my poorer decisions in the 50-50 thus far.

Lake Itasca in the background. The headwaters of the Mississippi River in the foreground.  The person is NOT doing his J.C. impersonation, he's just walking across the natural rock "spillway."

I got a sudden urge to order a Bourbon and Headwater.

True story: This dude arrived with his board and stand up paddle and a huge back pack. He was putting in right at the headwaters with the goal of stand up paddling the full length of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. He gave me his card with the blog address. The estimated travel time is 60 to 70 days.  A drop of water takes about 9 days to make the trip. He's very brave and apparently an adrenalin junkie.

His name is Matt Crofton and the truth is he had a rather bad day on June 10, which you can read about on his blog:  Moreover, Matt's story is gripping, hopeful and consummately unselfish. I urge you to check out his website at

And finally tonight, BikerBuck's inaugural Booby Prize goes to the annoying woman who lives in the Garmin wayfinder and tells you where to turn and what your sperm count is.  Her favorite (or rather, favourite if you set her up to talk Limey) word is, "re-calculating." I yelled at her a lot today on the journey from Evian Wanabe-ville to Ft. Ransom, ND this afternoon. But she got even. Her last command put me on an unpaved gravel road for 7 miles through National Forest Service land and several farms. The final "up yours" was this one lane bridge with a weight limit equal to a couple of bulimic goats. I had no choice, my destination was only a few hundred yards away, and it was suppertime. So I went for it, screaming and cursing Ms. Garmin all the way. And, well, I'm here to tell the story.

Ms. Garmin made me do it!

1 comment:

  1. Buck,

    Sorry the old lady is acting up! Did you tuck her in nicely each night? If you don't she does diabolical things. And' I don't think we updated her database before I left - did we? She can be very cranky with an old database.

    Hang in there. We're following you from afar and hoping you are doing well.