Monday, June 28, 2004

Back to Work

My vacation came to an end today. It was so nice to have the time away from work and a bit depressing to be going back but I reminded myself that I’m blessed to have such a good job.

Rachel and I went to Valleyfair on Friday. We had a great time. I love that little one so much. It was a bit cool with the temp only in the 60s but that worked to our advantage as we only had to wait 5 minutes at the most for any ride we wanted. That sort of thing is unheard of when you’re talking about the Wild Thing, Power Tower or Steel Venom. We both got a bit creeped out on the red Power Tower. It’s the one which takes you up slowly and locks you in at the top for several seconds before shooting you back down. We’d both been on it at least a dozen times before but as Rachel says…you start to get the what ifs when you get up there. It didn’t matter though because after a couple times of riding it we were old pros again…letting it all hang out by not hanging on. We did Steel Venom several times as well. We got there at 11:00am and left for home around 9:15pm. We also had our caricatures done together just like last year. I think we’re going to make that a yearly thing to do.

I’d given some thought to getting up early Saturday and doing a 200 mile ride but when I got up with Toby and Allie at 6:15 I knew I needed more sleep. I went back to bed till 9:00. I was out on my bike by 10:00 and headed northwest into a light wind. I took the usual route out of town for that direction…hwy 5 to hwy 13 to hwy 101 through Shakopee where I picked up hwy 212. I rode 212 out west through Chaska and Carver. There’s a nice, long hill as you climb out of Chaska with a 6% grade. Saturday traffic is always busy. The road has a good shoulder but the relentless traffic wears on you after a while. I stopped to take this photo as I left Cologne as I’ve always loved this view looking west out over the wetlands.

Glenco is 50 miles out so I figured I’d head for there and maybe press on another 20 miles before turning around. Hwy 212 west of Norwood/Young America has a very beat up shoulder for 18 miles leading into Glenco. Then I came upon a sign which said, Winsted 16 miles. Hey, I think that’s the town Tammy was born in, I thought to myself. So I turned off 212 onto hwy 1 in search of the town my wife was born in. What a great road…newly paved and very little traffic. I stopped in Lester Prairie to take on fuel and was back on the road in 5 minutes. I got to Winsted and snapped several photos thinking I’d print them out and send them to Tammy’s folks as they no doubt haven’t been through the town in decades.

I headed back south toward 212 and picked up where I’d left off. I pedaled into Glenco and got a bit to eat at Burger King. I’ll have to remember to find some other place to eat if I’m in a hurry next time. Anyway, I started heading west out of Glenco but there was road work and no shoulder so I figured I’d head back in the direction of home.

The ride was pretty uneventful until I passed Valleyfair. I was talking with Tammy on my cel and I noticed a $20 bill blowing along side me on the road. I told Tammy to hang on while I grabbed it. As soon as I picked it up I noticed another…then I heard someone yell “That’s my money!” I looked up to see a guy in his mid 30s with two little girls walking along the side of the highway toward me. His car was parked a couple hundred yards further up the road. He told me he’d lost his wallet and could I please help him find it. I gave him the money and said I thought I saw something in middle of the road back a ways. He waited with his daughters while I rode up to see. Sure enough, it was a wallet all splayed open with traffic driving by it. Traffic stopped and I ran out and got it. I gave it to his daughter as she came up to me thanking me. He told me he’d been praying for an angel and I was that angel. He tried to give me $20 but I told him I was just happy to be able to help. His 8 year old daughter was so cute…”Give him a tip Daddy…give him a tip.” I assured her that it wasn’t necessary. He gave me a hug and shook my hand. I don’t think the poor guy realized I was 122 miles into a 136 mile ride at that point but he hugged me.

I was planning on riding till 9:00 and going for 180 miles but I thought a better idea might be to call Tammy back and see if she would like to go see Fahrenheit 9/11 at the 7:00pm showing. She said sure but I know she’d really rather not do anything which would put money in Moore’s pocket. I feel the same but I felt it was important to see this movie so I’ll have my opinion to add when the topic comes up on the message boards or at work.

The movie was disappointing. You can read my review following this post. My brother, Bryan is buying (literally and figuratively) the stuff Michael Moore puts out. That’s too bad because I always thought he was more discriminating than that. I added a ‘Politics Anyone?’ category to our family message board and it’s been receiving quite a bit of input. It’s been interesting but a bit frustrating for me. I’m having a difficult time getting Claudia or Bryan to answer my questions directly. I answer theirs but they seem to answer mine with another question.

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