Day 25: Morrill, MN to Osakis, MN (75.9 miles)

The stretch between Alice’s Attic and Bowlus was only 20 miles, but, once again, we had entered factory farm country. The hour and ten minutes it took us to ride through it was pretty unhappy: these were chicken farms, in much higher concentration than we had seen previously, many tagged with the label “Gold’n’Plump: Raised on Local Family Farms”. It was a darkly ironic slogan to read as we passed by the ‘grower houses’ that we knew likely housed tens of thousands of animals.

Fortunately, getting to Bowlus cheered us up. It was there that we started on the Lake Woebegone Bicycle Trail, a beautifully paved bike path that would take us from Bowlus to Fergus Falls in two days. When we got to the trailhead, there seemed to be a cycling event going on, so of course we investigated. It turned out to be the annual Caramel Roll Ride, where cyclists ride through the small towns along the party and stop for caramel rolls, a local treat, at each one. We were told that apparently you burn off the calories from a single roll by riding between towns. We, of course, took part in this tradition wholeheartedly. It was also nice to see and meet so many cyclists and feel part of the community spirit that was obviously a big part of the ride.

As we moved on, the path was smooth and we had a tail wind, so we moved quickly, finishing our day of riding by 3pm. We got to Osakis, checked in with the police to make sure we could camp at the local park, and then had quite some time before bed (something we are not used to at all). We decided to check out the local food scene, by which I mean we ate fries from several different restaurants, and ended up playing cards until it was time for bed.

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