|2005 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour:|
Date(s): May 21,22, 2005. Album by Jon Sharratt. 1 - 24 of 171 Total. 20114 Visits.
|Climate Control Malfunction|
By Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organizer
The 2005 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour was, shall we say, character building. The planned invasion of pastry encampments was delayed by true English weather; we managed to arrive at the first rest stop dry but as we remounted, rain began and continued for an hour or so. Spirits were undampened, however, as we took the Bay City Hill. The descent was a refreshing relief except for the stinging 40mph raindrops in the forehead. We pressed on to the first of the aforementioned pastry encampments; the Smiling Pelican Bakery. The surprise waiting for us was a crushing defeat: a tour bus. We tried our best to repel the marauding hoard of retirees but it was futile; they simply had the upper hand and forced us to wait in line. The humility.
Our determination paid off and soon the rain stopped as we enjoyed our rations. Capes were stowed as we were beginning to dry. We pressed on to other downstream rest stops and overlooks but not without a visit from another nemesis; the headwind. We battled our way up hills and down with 30mph gusts taking their toll. There were no complaints to be heard as we soldiered past Maiden Rock and on to Stockholm and lunch. Hearty fare was found at Gelly’s; a new restaurant with a new outdoor dining area. The menu was a bit of an enigma with both “grilled ham and cheese” along with “grilled cheese with ham” listed. Undaunted by the attempt at confusion; we hungry tourists broke the code and manage to plough our way through it all.
Pressing into the wind we managed to gain a foothold on the Pepin Railroad Museum for reconnaissance and a short break. Soon we were off to Nelson with the promise of ice cream. 3-Speed Tourists are a remarkably diverse lot when it comes to ice cream preference; no two alike. Some even mixed flavors with 2 scoops. Brilliant maneuver!
Wabasha was a welcome furlough to a fine day; compliments were heard about the fine English weather and the Newcastle Brown Ale was welcome refreshment for the entire Battalion.
Sunday morning required something never needed on any previous 3-Speed Tour: sunscreen. For the first time in 3 years we enjoyed a bright blue sky.
The Eagles Nest Coffee shop served an amazing breakfast including English toast (the precursor to French toast). Eggbake, fruit, bagels and jam served with buckets of hot tea warmed the spirits and prepared the troops for another confrontation with our arch nemesis. Yes, even though we reversed our direction for the return to Red Wing, the unbroken headwind returned for the second day.
Marching on through Reads Landing and other scenic overlooks we made our way to Lake City. Several Tourists enjoyed tea and scones at the Chickadee Cottage Tea Room and the locals marveled at the rusty iron littering the gardens. Alas, the Red-Hat ladies were AWOL this year.
A welcome break from the wind found us gliding through the forest into Old Frontenac, a village founded in 1839. We found the familiar stone fence on the corner of Manypenny Ave and Faribault St and staged a fabulous photo with all the 3-speeds lined up against the ramparts. We then visited the old Lakeside Hotel; a historic steamboat era resort that is in danger of being lost from neglect.
The final press into Red Wing was difficult but manageable. The wind was still very strong and now it had clouded over.
The old 3-speeds proved their worth by handling the difficult conditions with ease; rain or wind made no matter. We were all transported reliably and in relative comfort. We were able to climb the biggest of hills in the worst of conditions and carry all our gear with no complaints from our favorite trooper: the Trusty Steed.
We shall return!
Photos by Brady Robinson, Larry Bontreger, Jon Sharratt, Rob Riggins, Ken Keberle.
Web page: www.3speedtour.com