HMS Holland 1, launched in 1901, had an original compliment of 8.
The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour had an original compliment of 14; now 100+.
Our Tour of Duty began with anxious anticipation of the weather; will it hold for our launch? Will it present us with unknown challenges? No matter, we are a hearty lot and always enjoy new adventure and meeting new friends. We also enjoyed the Message from the Queen delivered by Willy and John; The Queen was kind enough to send her regrets. The Vicar delivered the delightful Blessing of the Bicycles and since no rain was predicted, we were sprinkled with Holy Water.
“A rising tide lifts all boats” is a certain truism but, as we discovered, it also blocks our route out of the harbor so the certainly curious HMS Redwing Police provided an escort out into the channel. And with that, we were underway.
Crossing the Mississippi river out of Redwing gives and odd feeling that your ticket is stamped “one-way”. Thankfully, that is not the case and as we found Highway 35, we turned with the strong tailwind, passed the Bow and Arrow marker and settled in to the long journey ahead.
The Bay City Hill loomed in the distance and some prepared with a bit of ice cream but all leaned into the task at hand. Up they went, one and all; some egos were sunk, some were nearly out of fuel but all were able to complete the herculean task and meet at the top.
The Bay City Plummet was a delight; with caps reversed, the speed on the new pavement was impressive and all made it down the back side with brakes burning and wide grins.
On we sailed to the harbor of Maiden Rock and the Smiling Pelican Bake Shop. Sondra knew we were coming and we were delighted to see the many treats including the White Chocolate Rhubarb Rasberry Parfait. Indeed, a torpedo below the waterline. Many Sailors lounged in the garden on shore leave after sampling these delights.
Pressing on, we ventured to Stockholm; another safe harbor with many choices of treats, restaurants and sights. Some descended from the Maiden Rock Bluff but most arrived at sea level.
The town of Pepin was the next port of call and some took a quick tour of the waterfront. The old depot museum seems permanently closed since they lost the only volunteer.
The tailwind was certainly welcome as we crossed the long flats across the Chippewa River delta. Yes, a bit of a slog but the chattery birds were delightful and the trees seemed to leaf out as we watched.
Steaming into [Lord] Nelson is always a relief; many enjoyed more ice cream but most enjoy the fact that the long day is nearly done.
Wabasha was a welcome sight and Jan and Jim were ready to stand the push of so many hungry Nutters. Nottingham stew was on the menu, along with mash and our favorite; mushy peas. Noel did a rousing bout of poetry that was a great crowd pleaser plus a couple of volunteers did as well.
Sunday dawned clear and beautiful and again, Jan and Jim outdid themselves with various egg bakes, coffee, tea, bagels plus other treats to get all the sub-mariners to the port of Redwing. We feasted, gathered for a few words, and then shoved off for Lake City and the Brew-Up.
Many thought Ohuta Park would be, ironically, under water. It was not, but it was close. The Brew-Up is always a big hit and all the picnic tables are quickly taken and many blankets are spread in the grass. Elaborate displays and food seem to come out of nowhere. In the end, all were winners but the judges settled on one kit in particular; Sandra Muzzy and Mark Wagar were declared the winners.
We lingered at Lake City and truly hated to leave that treasured spot but a tour this is and so tour we must. Old Frontenac was in our periscope sights and soon we were underway.
The Old Stone Wall soon came into view at the corner of Faribault Street and Manypenny Avenue. We dearly love that shady spot and proudly line up all the Trusty Steeds along the wall for photos. The new Light-Up was a modest hit and many pipes were on display and exactly 3 were lit.
Moving on, we had many choices; Hill Avenue, Ski Road or Flower Valley Road. All are spectacular and all are lined with wildflowers and offer views that cannot be seen nor imagined from any boat.
As we rolled into Redwing, we experienced waves of grief that this lovely little tour has to end. Disappointing, yes, but the tour lives in our hearts and minds, and indeed, the friendships and memories are refreshed every year.
As the original HMS Holland 1 was an exploration into sub-marining, our merry band of 3-Speed Nutters are explorers in their own right. Happily, all hands were lost in our favourite diversions, bakeries, overlooks and routes. All hands were lost in the challenge of the hills, the flats, the naps in the grass. All hands were lost over hill and dale and back home again. Once again, the ‘umble 3-speed is the choice for all hands.
Date(s): May 17 & 18, 2014. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 124 of 124 Total. 4418 Visits.