Friday, June 17, 2011

Riding to the Root: Sleeping in luxury

Let's wind the clock back to last night.

I got into Ellendale just before 10:30 and told myself I was either going to: a.) Find a park or open field to set my tent up; or b.) Press on to St. Olaf Lake Park between Ellendale and New Richland, meaning I would have to bike on a brutally-bumpy stretch of Highway 30 at night.

Not wanting to choose the second option, I reasoned that I would ask whoever I saw in town if there was a place nearby to camp. Only problem with that reasoning was that I was in a small town late at night on a Thursday. The town was pretty much dead ... except for a lone bar in Ellendale's downtown area. There weren't many people inside, but I figured somebody might be able to point me in the right direction.

No luck with the bartender. He said the only place he knew of was a rest stop up the road a couple miles on Interstate 35; not going to bike that. So I left the bar wondering if I would be able to find a good spot to camp out in the country where I wouldn't bother anyone. It would be tough enough to find such a spot in daylight, let alone late at night.

But just as I was about to hop on bike and continue on my way, I came across a few bar patrons that were outside having a smoke. One of them asked me where I was headed, and I told him Mankato eventually, but finding a place to sleep was a top priority. After all, I had already biked about 90 miles.

And the bar patron responded with the following: "Hell dude, you can just come crash at my place."

I told him I only needed enough space in his backyard to set up my tent, but he insisted on being more accommodating. He set a futon mattress out on his screened-in porch, allowed me to take a hot shower and even gave me a few beers as he and his friends conversed with me about my travels around a camp fire in his back yard.

So as I'm writing this, I am no longer suffering from the back pains that come with sleeping on the ground, nor am I grimy from a full day of biking. Instead, I slept on a comfy futon mattress and feel refreshed from a hot shower.

I almost don't want to go back to real life. This is just too awesome.

1 comment:

  1. That is so great! High-fives to the wonderful people of Ellendale!