Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Overnight to Sand Dunes

Plymouth, MN to Sand Dunes State Forest
46.78mi, 9.1 AvS

So, I wrote up a long post and it sounded awful. Bored me to tears to read it. Better that I stick with a short sum-up and some pictures:

I've been quietly assuming that as soon as the weather was decent enough, I'd at least go on an overnight bike camping trip. On Tuesday I saw the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. Awfully cold night, but both days where sunny and warm - not just warm by "Holy shit winter sucks" standards, but really comfortable 60-ish highs(never mind the wind). I packed like a maniac, planned a route to a State Forest within 50 miles I've not been to before, and left Wednesday morning.

As ever, getting out of the suburban and industrial sprawl took most of the day, but it was still a nicer route then trying to break through the cities heading east. I took it easy, stopped often, and reached my goal by 5pm. Camped in a welcoming, sweet-smelling pine plantation by a pond, ate some spicy ramen, and slept like a log. Glad I got a new bag at the REI sale - the overnight low was 31 degrees, but I slept like a warm, warm log.

Somewhere near Dayton, MN. One of the nicer bits of road.

Nearing the State Forest, the terrain and scenery quickly changed for the better.

The barely detectable, primitive road to the pond I camped by was somewhere near here. It's at the corner of the forest boundary, and I could just barely see a building of some sort while sitting at my fire. The spot was otherwise so perfect, I'll forgive it that.

There is still a snowbank on the other side of the pond.

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