DAY 31 (7/11/05): Mercer to Clam Lake, WI 64.7 mi.  I wpent all of today riding
hilly county roads through Wisconcin's North Woods.  In the most exciting
wildlife sighting so far, I saw a black bear strolling across the road abour 50
yards in front of me.  In Clam Lake, I learned that this area is a big black
bear research center, where they tag the bears with radio collars and monitor
them, etc.  I actually also saw the bear monitoring truck, with a big antenna
on top.  I camped at a USFS campground this evening, which didn't have running
water.  I was so gross after riding all day that I washed my hair in a lake!

DAY 32 (7/12/05): Clam Lake to Haugen, WI 91.3 mi.  Today was extremely hot. 
The roads were very similar to yesterday, but maybe even more isolated.  I
traversed a big Indian reservation complete with two big casinos and a little
internet cafe where I wrote the previous update to this site.  Haugen is a very
small town centered around a feed mill.  I camped out at the “poor folks saloon
and campground” along with lots of people in RV's, and went into the saloon to
have a few Miller High Life's and chat with them.  They were all really
friendly people in their 50's and 60's who thought that I am totally out of my

DAY 33 (7/13/05): Haugen to Dresser, WI 74.73 mi.  On the recommendation of the
folks at the bar, I had a great breakfast at Lona's Cafe, right across from the
feed mill.  They had a placard hanging there that said, “If you're lucky enough
to be up north, you're lucky enough.”  Given how beautiful it is up here I
would have to agree.  After breakfast I finally left the North Woods behind and
saw a few farms and cows.  I stayed in my first motel of the trip this evening,
which felt incredibly luxurious--my own mini-fridge, microwave, and bathroom
with running hot and cold water where I could control the temperature.  I think
the hostess thought I was kidding when I told her how plush I thought the room
was, but I was being completely sincere!

DAY 34 (7/14/05): Dresser, WI to St. Louis Park, Minn. 71.5 mi.  Today I
crossed two more milestones: the Minnesota border and the Mississippi river on
my way the the childhood home of my dear friend Andrew, whose parents are in
the habit of hosting his friends when they bike cross country.  I rode a nice
bike path into St. Paul, crossed the mighty Mississippi with very little
fanfare, and rode a gorgeous tree-lined parkway with a bike path near it (very
remeniscent of the Arborway in Boston) all the way to chez Howard.  Andrew's
mom started feeding me right away, and made an outstanding stirfry for dinner. 
I'm sleeping in a real bed tonight for the second night in a row.  Is this how
normal people live?  I'd totally forgotten...