Monday, July 11, 2016

From Minneapolis to Duluth with kids

It was my dream to come from Minneapolis to Duluth. I did not done that before pregnancy and then was too late. But last few month I was thinking about that. I saw that Nadia (my 11 years old daughter ) in this year ride bike for long distance pretty good. And Yeva (7 month old daughter) have good experience  sitting in the trailer last 4 month  also.
After Riotgrrravel  ride|race where Nadia and me with trailer did 33 miles and did it good. I started to thinking about  ride to Duluth. And I was need adrenaline. I do not had race long time and so need some challenge )

 On Sunday I made test ride for 50 miles with Nadia and Yeva to  River bottoms . With 10 miles per hour as middle we did our distance.
The most complicated to me was  to makes Yeva happy too. That is why we need to stopped about every10-15 miles and play with her .

Another hard part was - stuff!
I need to have stuff for 3 of us + camping stuff and food for 2 days. When I packed all this and tried to take it  - I started to worried : " Sveta , are you sure that you planning to do that?"
My plan was to start in the evening of Tuesday and ride 20 miles and to see if it really possible to ride to me with trailer and ALL stuff. 

I decided to skip city ride  ( it is boring to me ) and asked my husband Dan  (best man ever) to bring us with stuff to White Bear Lake.
 When I put all my stuff on the bike Dan looked at me and I read in his eyes that he is not sure that we can do it . The weather must to be on Tuesday under storm with hail and possible  tornado ))
We rode about 15 miles and I realized that from 10 minutes will be storm. I stopped near one house and asked owner to put tent at their private property. They let me do it ( Minnesota the most pleasant state)  . 5 minutes later other women from that house came and say that weather will be so crazy and they have space in garage and will be better if we will sleep here .
  Nice.  When storm started I was so  happy that we are not outside right now were was crazy wind, rain ...
 Nadia played with owners kids and teach them to dancing
 It was new experience to sleep in garage to us ))

We  woke up early, had  light breakfast and went to the adventure. I decided to make my own route. I have to used Strava

We started and 7 30 am. Weather was not perfect first few hours.

 After some gravel we got county roads and our speed went UP.
I decided to makes stops every 10 miles . It must works good for Nadia and Yeva. Also I promised Nadia lunch at Mc Donalad's and it was good motivation for her ).
 We found nice place for first stop near old "boat"

I tried to makes stops at the nice place without people . Because I need to pumped milk for Yeva.
Portable pump is a really nice device for active mama. I also use lunch box with ice in it for the keeping milk fresh.

I am not big fun of pavement , but with all stuff, trailer and plans for long distance it was best choice. When we crossing beautiful gravel roads my soul so wanted  to turn on one of them. 
 Lunch at McDonald's , as I promised )

Ha ha . It was not first time when Yeva tried food at McDonald's. Our stop  in North Branch city .
Good things about McDonald's cheap food ), restrooms and  free ICE which I used for milk. Also nice place to charge your phone. My Android have turbo charge system and for short time I had full battery .

It was funny to see HWY 35 . The best part of out trip are tons of farms and small towns. It is amazing to see other style of life people. It is reminds me my small town where I was born in Belarus.

Our plan for first day was to leave behind us Hinckley city and be on the bike trail.  I was little worried about next day, because weather radar promised for the next day rain, what is mean low speed and bad mood for Nadia. That is why we need to do maximum for the first day. 
At the Hinckley we met local biker who talked with us . I asked him about place for camping for the night. He says that Bible camping about 5 miles away from bike trail on the Grindstone Lake .
10 extra miles !!? But we need take "shower"  and we need good rest. It was late evening when we came to the camp. BUT  guy at the office says the he do not let us to stay at the camp - we do not member of their church.
SHIT! We do not  have power and time to looking for something else. But God's person says NO! (Interesting this is what Bible say ? ). I have two kids and I need place for night right NOW. 
I went to the next door near Bible camp and asked people to put our tent on their property. Really nice people let us to do that. They asked what else we need "coffee, food, water?"  They also told us about deck at the Lake where we can swim. What a nice people  always on my traveling way ? 

the moment when I put my body in the warm water in the Lake was moment of huge happiness. 

When we came in the tent and Nadia started to change cloth I found tick at her back. Bad!!!Bad news. We started to check each other. She found 3 on my body and 2 at Nadia, lucky that Yeva was clean. 

It was too late to cook food. We ate sandwiches and went to sleep.
Before I let Nadia to read my Facebook where I asked friends to say good  words for Nadia ( thanks EVERYONE - it was really good motivation to Nadia keep brave mood for the next day)  
 I woke up at night and realized - it was RAIN ( What is not  good.
I decided to have snack and going  for breakfast in some city on  our way. 
Nadia was brave. I was surprised. I tried to talked about funny things. 

After 10 miles we came to the Finlyson city. Where I had my first cup of coffee for the last 2 days ))

After breakfast  our mood and speed started to be much  better ))
 We keep going and made stops every 10 -15 miles. Looks like our plan to came in Duluth in that day will works.
  I want tell about wonderful  Willard Munger State trail . Because all 2nd day we used that trail on our way.
The Hinckley-Duluth segment of the Willard Munger State Trail stretches 70 miles between central Minnesota and the state's gateway to Lake Superior. The trail follows the historic 19th-century route of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad that carried goods and passengers between the Twin Cities and Duluth. As it's completely paved and relatively flat, the pathway is perfect for bikers, walkers and in-line skaters in the warmer months, and snowmobilers and cross-country skiers in the winter.Along the way, trail-goers will enjoy stunning natural scenery, especially the northernmost 15-mile section between Carlton and Duluth. Here, you will travel through rocky cliffs and over the St. Louis River gorge. The trail skirts the northern edge of the Jay Cooke State Park, which—with its pristine forests, waterfalls and swinging suspension bridge—is definitely worth a stop.
This trail on our way was kind of empty. Few riders and runners we met by the Carlton. And we can road with Nadia and talk with each other. Play in "words" game .., singing sons . everything what helping us do not thinking about miles 

We stopped at Gus station to charge my phone , eat some food and keep going.

The hardest (mentally )part was part of trail from Carlton to Duluth . You realised that you almost done, you see city, but Duluth is crazy long big city...

 miles miles miles ... beautiful views
 and we are at the DOWNTOWN of Duluth. Where Dan's mom take Nadia and all my stuff and I am keep going in Two Harbors /
Nadia did 172 miles  for the 18 + hours
I did 189 miles ( reconstruction at the roads to not let me road last 10 miles )
I still could not believe that we DID IT!!! )))
Nadia at her 11 years old never was super cool riders. She just girls who rode with her mom at some adventure rides )
Yeva such a coolest little baby was happy all our way and nice more than 20  hours
And , Yes I can say now that I am strong lady. To pull  all this way so much stuff and trailer needs power! And If I finished - I have power )))
 Thank you everyone for good words and my lovely husband who let me do what I want to do )

 PS Next time I need to have much less stuff )))



  1. What an amazing adventure for you and the girls! Great job to everyone! Your story made me feel like I was there!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! You and your girls are such an inspiration!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story! You and your girls are such an inspiration!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story! You and your girls are such an inspiration!

  5. That was fun to read, Sveta! I think your style of English is perfect for some parts of your story. Like the 'God's person.' Perfect! Great pictures, too!

  6. You are 3 CRAZY women, but I am proud of you when I read such stories. Well done, ladies!!! :)