Day 36: Bemidji

Mary, my Warmshowers host, coaches me on doing radio interviews, “Just have fun with it.” She is the recently retired executive director of the Bemidji Community Food Shelf and has done a bunch of them.

The BBC interview goes well, I think. Tim Wheeler is a pro interviewer and makes it sound easy. It was pre-recorded so I’m looking forward to hearing the edited final cut.

Big thanks to Mary for hosting me in Bemidji. I hosted one cyclist in Oakland this summer but this was my first Warmshowers guest experience. Mary is an avid biker herself and knows just what a touring biker needs. Thank you for making me feel welcome.

If you’re not familiar with it, www.warmshowers.org is a non-profit that connects touring cyclists with people who are willing to support them. Typically, this means a place to sleep and a chance to take a shower. It may be a camping spot in the backyard or a spare bedroom and may include a meal or two.

Bemidji has the first Dunkin’ Donuts I’ve seen since I started this trip. More than the continental divide and crossing the Mississippi, this feels like I’m approaching the East Coast. I spent my teenage years working in my family’s Dunkin’ Donuts store and have a lot of memories associated with this franchise.

I can’t get used to the recent name change from Dunkin’ Donuts to “Dunkin’“. They should have just gone to “DD” and renamed their cup sizes to A, B, C and DD.

The bad news is that with a high of 45°F (7°C), this is the coldest day of this trip. The all-day drizzle doesn’t help. The good news is that I’m biking on the Paul Bunyan State Trail the whole day. Previous bits of trail here and there have been little more than an amuse-bouche. This is the real deal. Over 100 miles of converted former railroad tracks. If you’re a touring beginner looking for a route for your first trip, this is a good choice.

I camp one meter from the edge of a lake – really starting to feel like I’m getting the Minnesota lake experience.

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