DAY 23 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 31

SAINT PAUL TO PRESCOTTPRESCOTT TO THE PRAIRIE ISLAND INDIAN COMMUNITY Tom and I arrived at Lambert’s Landing in Saint Paul, Minnesota to begin the ride out of the city. We decided on a bike only day, due to time constraints and the extended mileage getting to two communities in one day. I was a bit daunted by the several miles of urban cycling that got me going, but eventually I reached the trail at Kaposia Park, thinking it would take me all the way to Prescott, Wisconsin. Nearly 18 miles in, however, I reached the end of the line—something of a trail head …

DAY 22 – TUESDAY JULY 30

MINNEAPOLIS TO ST. PAULDay two in the Twin Cities. Good friends Tori Nill and Todd Stevens joined the Relay team in the morning to cover the miles on foot. They’re veteran relay runners – gearing up for a 200-mile relay in August. This was just an easy training run for these athletes! Victoria and I landed at Lambert’s Landing in downtown St. Paul, where we met Hokan Miller and Mike Sandige of Upper River Service. We boarded the Mary J, a 1973 tow boat that also provides tug services (there’s a distinction!). We spent the next couple of hours roaming up …

DAY 21 – MONDAY, JULY 29

ELK RIVER TO MINNEAPOLIS Early morning in Elk River, Minnesota, long road to Minneapolis. Of course the Davies had a full breakfast planned for us—an amazing cinnamon nut bread, bacon, eggs over easy, buttered toast, fresh strawberries, juice, coffee, it goes on… We could barely move to get going toward Minneapolis, Minnesota, but somehow Tom managed to shove off from the Elk River Lutheran Church. About 3.1 miles in, we swap roles and I’m now on bike. I get partways in with a little navigation help from Tom along the way, and then he takes over on bike. Finally it is my turn …

Looking for stories along the Mississippi, she’s found love

Britta Greene Crosby, Minn.July 29, 2019 4:00 a.m. | MPR News Victoria Bradford Styrbicki had just finished a 20-mile trek, by foot and bike, between the northern Minnesota towns of Aitkin and Crosby. Now it was noon, and she was cooling off at a town park in Crosby. That 20 miles may seem like a long distance, but it’s a hop compared to her goal: She’s following the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s roughly 2,500 miles. Traveling only by land, she intends to complete the trip in about four months. It’s a physical feat, but for her, the journey really centers around …

DAY 20 – SUNDAY, JULY 28

MONTICELLO TO ELK RIVER Which side of the river to run on is always a question. And on Day 20, we had planned on the west side, but the locals said no, take the east side. One reason was a detour that would have put us way off schedule, but the more important reason was Dave and Eileen Anderson, their home on the east side approaching Elk River, Minnesota, and their offer of a hardy breakfast on our trek into town. As luck would have it, Dave and Eileen came out to the Monticello event on Saturday night and gave us …

DAY 19 – SATURDAY JULY 27

ST. CLOUD TO MONTICELLO An engineer and a choreographer walk into a bar . . . Victoria ended yesterday’s run on the upper side of the St. Cloud Convention Center. I needed to start today’s run on the lower side – the river side. There can be no gaps in our path! Sarah Drake drove to Munsinger Gardens to say goodbye as we headed south from St. Cloud. Victoria met Sarah there. I was hoping for high-fives as I ran through, but the timing was wrong. I did a couple of laps around the gardens and headed west over the University Avenue …

DAY 18 – FRIDAY, JULY 26

RICE TO ST. CLOUD We were told the Creamery is hopping in the morning, with two groups of men who know their Rice, Minnesota history—seating themselves according to political affiliation: Democrats in the front, and Republicans in the back. We were told to come early so we could learn a lot. Well, we did decide to show up early, but not for politics and history. Rather, we made a 7:10am appointment to have breakfast with Ken Nodo, former councilman, former mayor, current park commission member, and most importantly, avid cyclist. Ken, at 78 years old, bikes everywhere that’s anywhere in Benton County, MN, …

Abby Smith

Meet Abby Smith—24 year-old local librarian. Left her home town of Crosby, MN for college some years ago thinking she would never come back. And yet, here she is, welcoming us in to the library, closed on a Sunday afternoon, brimming with pride about the work she does in this community and the lineage it comes from. You see, her grandmother was the first librarian at the Hallett Memorial Library, retiring in 2006 at the age of 88, followed by Peggy Besaris, and finally followed by Abby this past January. Thanks to her grandma as librarian and also living just …

DAY 17 – THURSDAY, JULY 25

LITTLE FALLS TO RICE We packed up our mansion (!) at Linden Hill, and got set for the run out of town. A local woman named Jackie Devine had messaged us earlier, saying she planned to meet us and run out together. She was right on time, as were Deb and Kris, so we grabbed a few photos and Tom and Jackie ran out through the trees. I got in the van to follow, but had forgotten about the detours (MnDOT!). I soon realized it might take me about as long to drive to the exchange as it would take Tom …

DAY 16 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

Tom’s birthday! A layover in Little Falls and a day of “rest”—rest from running at least, but not from learning more about this community and all that goes on here. Out of bed early and over to Zoomski’s for black coffee and breakfast wraps. Dr. Phil stopped by and we traded notes about last night’s awesome event at SPROUT. Local conversation was all about the Minnesota Twins. Bad extra-inning loss to the Yankees last night, controversial call by the umpire, Rocco Baldelli tossed out of the game. Those who stayed up past midnight to see the unfortunate conclusion wished they …