29/6/2011 Grand Rapids to Palisade, 92k, 5.25 hours Total 1171
27° SE 20 -30 knots
Departed 1130hrs after a good nights sleep. My room was littered with gear. What’s new I hear Lea saying, “It’s only temporary” was always my reply.
The front panniers where I carry food for the road were replenished with three staples, nectarines,bananas and oranges among other snacks.
Grand Rapids is the business centre for this part of Minnesota. I must admit the streets of CHCH are in better nick, maybe caused by extreme frost damage associated with the endless parade of trucks spotted.
The main claim to fame of GR is Judy Garland was born here, her house has been preserved. The paper mill obviously is famous, but in a different arena.
The mill was recently sold to a private Finnish company. The family that sold it have set up a kind of college for self improvement and other trusts for the good of the community, good on them.
The day was warm with a soueaster blowing, my course put me hard on it. There were areas of pressure where gusts got up to 30knots.It was hard work. The road had frost cracks at monotonous intervals. My bum was feeling every one.
Even the scenery was a bit on the drab side.
A rest and food was needed , a sign on my left (Jacobson) indicated camping and boat launching on the MR. One mile of gravel, not a prob, on arrival I immediately demolished a banana, orange and a couple of nectarines, whilst taking in the view of the river.
Movement was heard at the boat launch area, upon investigation,three guys in kayaks had landed. We introduced ourselves. They were from Louisiana and were paddling home so to speak. Like me they were letting the MR provide them with adventure.
The guys explained that they were christians trying to raise some money for homeless people and were filming their trip. My inclusion was fine. On departure one of the guys asked what would I like them to say in their prayers for me.
Now I must admit I have never been asked this kind of question before. Being a practical type, my immediate response was pray that a truck does not hit me!!
Thanks guys and safe travels.
My guide book noted that part of CR10 was not paved, Being published in 2008 and also knowing times have been a bit tough for local government. I was prepared for gravel.
Then up ahead Black Beauty appeared, brand new road mat. So smooth. This helped me get to Palisade about 1700hrs and straight to Kellys Kitchen. For any number of drinks and just the best BLT on almost black rye bread.
Palisade was a timber town. The last train came through here in 1985. The local grocery store closed last year, same story.
The village had a great camp ground right on the MR.it was a still magic evening. My camp was within 5 metres of the river.
Aitken county had done a great job here, a hot shower was even on hand. Once I picted the tent I brewed up a tea and meandered off to a seat by the river, one of Kellys homemade pastries was in the other hand.
“This was the Mississippi River” I told myself, not the Kalang or Bellinger as I watched her silently glide by on her way so many miles south. A musk rat was battling the current mid stream, periodically diving and coming up as determined by the forces beneath the surface. I am told they are good swimmers and will dive to eat fish.
Midway through this moment of quiet euphoria a sprocket came by and started yakking to me. Kalib was a neat kid, he spoke well beyond his years. A six year old with an opinion, he had me interested in what he said. Presently his dad came down and we chatted about nothing in particular. In one hand he had a glass with a brownish fluid in it, his other hand was in the glass, he informed me oil had spat out at him while they were bbqing, his fingers were quite burnt. The Fluid was Jack Daniels ,Rich said it helped I laughed, thats a new one.
Anyway in my kit was some paw paw ointment, we both thought this has got to be better. He was in pain, it was quite a burn. A liberal dose was squeezed on each burnt finger.
Also of interest is the presence of ticks here. The larger ones, unlike a shellback are ok, it’s the deer ticks, little ones, like our grass ticks. They can cause Lymes Disease.
It’s a bit like Ross River, with lethargy setting in, great if you’ve got bugger all to do.
So we sat up at his pickup and chatted away about the property market, fishing, road directions and the best way to treat burns, all the while Kalib was trying to get a movie going in the truck, with no succes he found a stick and mucked about with it getting as much entertainment as any movie.
I was so pleasantly worn out, this was the hardest days ride. Kalib walked me to my tent with a gas light. Great kid.
Incidently this was the most mozzy free night so far.The numbers only had three zeros after them not six.
On climbing in the bag, checking the tent for night bombers, the radio button was pushed on. I dont remember much after that.
The main trees of economic imprtance here are :
Balsam Poplar, Populus balsamifera
Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum
Paper Birch, Betula papyrifera
Balsam Fir, Abies balsamia
Tamarak, Larix laricina
American Basswood, Tilia americana
Black Spruce, Picea mariana
Red Maple, Acer rubrum
Eastern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis
Red Pine, Pinus resinosa
Jack Pine, Pinus banksiana
White Pine, Pinus strobus