Day 21: La Crosse, WI to Lake City, MN (87.8 miles)

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The park trail.

With John’s route, we deviated from the maps we are using by staying on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River rather than crossing back into Minnesota. This allowed us to take a bike trail (bringing us back to our days on the C&O) through a state park. We spent the morning riding through wetlands, forests, and along the river.

As the day went on, it began to heat up. By early afternoon it was in the 90s, and, after crossing back over the Mississippi into Winona, MN, we had Minnesotans telling us it hadn’t been that hot in several years. Great.

We chugged water and slowly but surely made our way north to Lake Pepin, where Lake City (and our campsite) were located. The sailboats lined up at Lake City’s marina made us think of St. Mary’s, and, as we got into camp and saw the sunset over the lake, we got even more nostalgic.

This was the first time we had to pay for lodging, which we are pretty happy about, but it was worth it. The campsite overlooked Lake Pepin, and provided wood with which we made our first campfire of the trip. We stayed up late talking and watching the stars come out, wondering how 21 days could seem so fast and so slow at the same time.

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