Day 30 was one of the most amazing days I have had on the tour and probably ever. We biked 102 miles from Worthington to Mankato. As the first two pictures indicate, it was very hot early in the day, but fortunately we had at least a slight tailwind the whole day and I made a good time. The scenery was pure Minnesota farm land in the prime growing season with green fields of primarily corn but other crops as well along with groves of trees, shelter belts and farmsteads. I did not stop to take a picture, primarily because it was too hot and did not want to spend any more time out there than I had to.
With the increasing heat, the last ten miles were difficult and I was ready to get to the hotel and air conditioning. We are staying at the Mankato City Center Hotel in downtown Mankato and when I pulled into the hotel drop off area, I had an amazing surprise. My very good friends Charlie and Barb from Bemidji had made a banner for me and driven down to Mankato to have it across the entryway when I pulled in. When I first saw the banner I thought that is very cool and when I saw it was for me, it was exhilarating. The pictures are of us in front of the banner and the three of us. My fan club may be small, but it is exclusive, classy, and contains very bright, thoughtful individuals. Charlie and Barb, thank you so much. They also had low fat chocolate milk waiting for me in a cooler. Again, thank you. This was a special moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.
The day got better as Morgan and Christi drove down from Minneapolis to spend the rest of the day with me. The pictures are the three of us around my bike. We went out for dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. Making it better, Jeff and Karina from the tour and Adam, who I call my second son by different parents along with his wife Lindsey joined us. We had a great time, the conversation was excellent and the food was a nice change from the normal buffets where we have been eating.
Tomorrow looks to be another long hot day with 99 miles to Rochester.