Aug 192015
 
Day 44 - Lake Itasca to Hackensack, MN
146 90,72 3768,2 2341,45 19 18,33 388 23562 10 - 18
A long ride today! Left fairly late, wasn't on the road until 9; but then I looked at the Warmshowers map on my phone and found Robert Shapiro in Hackensack was available for hosting. Doing a little calculating, I decided to skip Bemidji and head "fairly straight" in the direction of Walker which would lead me to Hackensack. "Hackensack" seemed to ring a bell with a song and a melody but I couldn't place it so later I found it, sung by Katy Perry ... Actually, Bob tells me that this song title most probably refers to Hackensack, NJ instead of MN, a working class town ...,  so sorry, MN! In any case the first part was uneventful but the "Paul Bunyan Trail" was great! The middle part between Walker and Hackensack is a truly marvellous roller coaster ride, going up and down, left and right for about 16 kms, but then - and luckily only then - it started to rain and I got relatively wet until I arrived at Bob and Nancy's place. Check them out on Crazy Guy On A Bike (rshapiro). Bob, a retired surgeon,  has done some wonderful rides indeed, among others the Northern Tier, with his lovely wife Nancy operating as SAG-driver with a camper-trailer,  and a SAG-accompanied tour of Europe. they live in Minnesota in their wonderful lakeside house with boat and camper trailer during the summer and move back to North Carolina during the winter. Speaking of "Paul Bunyan": I had assumed this name would refer to some local historical celebrity but I found out from Nancy and Bob that Paul Bunyan is a mythological giant lumberjack from Maine who travelled across the States and then came across an ox in a snowdrift in Minnesota, all blue from the cold - hence his color being blue. He named the ox "Babe" and the frollicking of the two giants caused the indentations in the Minnesota landscape, creating the ten thousand lakes that are to be found here ... "Lucette Kensack" was his girlfriend and when "Little Paul" appeared, mysteriously a marriage certificate appeared, too, (just to maintain propriety) and so Lucette officially became his wife. Wooden statues of these giants can be found everywhere in Hackensack. I'll post images of these later ... Bob and Nancy have offered me to rest for a day and here I am, figuring out how to organize my progress down the road.
   
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My host Robert "Bob" Shapiro, an avid cyclist!

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