Day 15 – Home Stretch

Friday, July 16th, 11:15 a.m. – Departed from the Coffee Mill in Zumbrota, Minnesota.

The Atmosphere’s Mood

Morning Conditions – Temp – 75* with moderate humidity / Wind – SW at 5 mph / Skies – Overcast, thunderstorms in the vicinity.

Afternoon/Evening Conditions – Temp – Reached 85* with increasing humidity / Wind – S at 5 mph /  Skies – Overcast with increasing thunderstorm activity throughout the day.

3:15 p.m. – Arrived at the KwikTrip in Pine Island, Minnesota, 9.1 miles, 28,400 steps, 287 miles remaining

Best of the Day

  1. It had been two weeks since I’d seen my home. It would be difficult to imagine being more motivated to walk 9.1 miles!
  2. The Coffee Mill Restaurant in Zumbrota was an awesome place to spend a few hours in the morning trying to catch up on some writing. Sharla, Carol, Paul, Shane and Nicole (not pictured) made me feel completely at home as I did so. Also, the rhubarb pie was amazing!
  3. The sight of my friends Paul and Sharon Foster arriving to pick me up for the ride back to Duluth. I can’t possibly overstate the importance of support from friends and family in this adventure. Thank you both for the lift.
  4. Seeing Jill again. I don’t think anything more needs to be said…
  5. Reaching the halfway point of the walk. Just under 300 miles behind me, and my third pair of shoes retired. These shoes were covered with the mud, dust and asphalt of four counties! 

Worst of the Day

  1. I opted to take an alternate route to avoid a dangerous crossing of Highway 52 in a construction zone. It added 1.3 miles to my day. Not the end of the world, but this stuff adds up.
  2. In addition to the extra miles, the alternate route was a gravel road and offered some VERY challenging hills. Even in just 9.1 miles, the gravel and hills took their toll on my body.

Lessons Learned

The GPS is not infallible. There are things that it doesn’t know, and it couldn’t care less about its user’s misery. Use it with care, blame it for all wrong turns and difficult routes.

Coffee Mill – Zumbrota, MN
Coffee Mill Crew
Paul and Sharon
Jill and me in Cloquet, MN
Pair #3 – Served me well

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