Monday, July 16, 2012

New Ulm Exploring, Owatonna & Winona

Somedays it's really hard to get Internet connectivity and get blog updates published, and other days, when we have the connectivity, it's time to go to bed and it just doesn't get done.   In case you're wondering, we go to bed at about 8 pm.  Sorta like 4 year olds.  But it's something that really helps us out, so that we can get in a good 8 hours of sleep, be able to arise at something like 5 am, and then pack our trash up and get it loaded onto the gear truck so we can hit the road while it's still cool.

New Ulm Exploring

On Saturday, we had an off day in New Ulm and several of us went the the Schell's Brewery.   It's a local family owned brewery operating in New Ulm and produces about 8 kinds of beer for consumption in the neighboring 8 states.    Good stuff.  I had a bunch of it to drink on Friday night, the night that we got into town.   About 8 of us went to Rodney's on Minnesota street in New Ulm and hung out until midnight.  Haven't done that in years and years, and had a blast.

Girls just wanna have fun !   Sarah, Sharon & Reesh
The next day, Doron, Rob, Todd and myself rode our bikes to the Schell's Brewery.  We had a nice little 1 hour tour of the brewery, got to sample all of the beers and it only cost us $3 each.

Brewery copper kettle


Sharon & family friend in the taproom 

We all helped drink those......
They had a couple of peacocks on the grounds and a new born baby fawn, that you can see if you zoom up the photo.
Hmm ... "let me see your peacock !"

Baby fawn to the left of the tree in the middle

I went out and climbed up the Hermann statue in New Ulm.  Pretty impressive, and it commemorates the victory of the Germans over the Roman army in .... get this.... 9 AD !
Looking up at Hermann


On the ride to Owatonna, some friends of Sharon had put up a really cool sign for her, so I took a picture of that.  She and Heather and Gene went back to that diner and the lake in the evening and had a wonderful time.   Sharon has had several relatives and friends along the route !

Go Sharon !
As we rode into town, we spied this little ice cream place and stopped.  We were royally treated.  It's called S'CREAM and is owned by Ann Coulson.  She stopped by, talked with us and then opened her bike shop so that we could buy some needed goodies.   It was just a really nice small town-type experience.

Ice cream, floats and great stuff at S'CREAM in Owatonna

That's for us !
We also checked out the Farmers Bank building that is now the home for Wells Fargo.  Wonderful architecture.

Nice architecture - was Farmers Bank, now Wells Fargo
We camped at a fairgrounds and then had an interesting shower experience.   The good news was that there was a shower, the bad news was that it was sorta like the black hole of Calcutta !   Some accomodations have been memorable... this one was ( but for wrong reasons !! )


We had a nice breakfast at the HyVee grocery store in Owatonna and started our ride, immediately making a wrong turn and going two miles out of our way !    Steve was riding with us, and then we wondered what had happened to him.   The picture shows his derailleur which snapped completely off his bike when the chain got something mysterious in it.   The chain was mangled too, it was quite the mess and he had to go to a bike shop up the road and then get some of the ride in later in the afternoon.

Steve's broken derailleur
Today was a hot ride.  It was about 104 degrees, humid and we got in around 1 pm and were grateful for the ac in the dorm rooms at Winona State University.    Some of us headed out for something cold to drink and we stopped at the Blue Heron in Winona.   Neat little coffee shop with a bookstore next to it.   I could spend of lot of time at this place, about two short blocks from the Mississippi.

Blue Heron
Speaking of the Mississippi, well, here it is !   The Big Muddy, looking pretty good up here in Minnesotta, and there's my white Cannondale ( sporting some touring bags that haven't been there in previous pictures ! )

Cannondale at the Mississippi
Tomorrow morning we cross the Mississippi and enter Wisconsin.  So, we have cross the Columbia, the Missouri and now the Mississippi.  In a week and a half, we'll get the Ohio.

We cross this bridge first thing tomorrow morning

Sarah !


Doron, Todd and Sarah on the Mississippi Levee
Bedtime now.  Hope you are liking the blog and let me know if there is anything special you are interested in.   ( I just figured out that I have to check the comments and just published a bunch of them ( yikes ) )

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