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  • Writer's pictureJim Clarahan

The Big Muddy - Minneapolis to Dubuque

Day 4, the ride from Minneapolis to Dubuque along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, 331 miles when all said and done. It should've been a simple 270 mile 5 hour ride - "ROAD CLOSED" for a seven mile stretch between Stoddard and Genoa, WI, added an extra 60+ miles on twisty, hilly Amish farm country, where 35 MPH was pushing the speed limit. My Garmin did not think this was too funny, sending me down several alternative routes that dead ended at another road closed sign, requiring I double-back each time.

The only bad thing to come from this was the last hour of the ride into Dubuque was after the sun had set. Not a bad thing, but one of my ride goals was to only ride in daylight to maximize visibility and safety.

How symbolic was it to encounter these detours, the subsequent re-routing, and the extra ride time to finally get on my way to Dubuque - my destination for Day 4? As I road thru some of the most beautiful stretches of country road, my mind calculating the extra ride time, a peaceful feeling overcame me as I reflected on the journey little Drayson and his family have been on for the last year. My little setback, was nothing.

Day 4 started easy enough. Jamie Woell, Todd Jackson, Jen Kalla, Erin Petersen and Steve Draxler, greeted me outside the RSM office in downtown Minneapolis. Jamie guided me thru a tour of the office renovations that are underway. Fabulous new digs to settle into once COVID is in the rear view mirror.

After the office tour I took a spin thru different parts Minneapolis including a photo stop at the Lake Calhoun Beach Club to document whey my Harley riding had its beginning. (please refer to "It's all Doug's Fault" blog)

Then onward to Pier 500 in Hudson, WI, to meet up with Mel Tevik, work colleague/friend and R4D pit crew member, AND Bill Plate - a good buddy and DX fraternity brother from our college days at ISU. Our annual DX alumni golf outing cancelled this year, so chances of catching up with my DX brothers had been nixed, so so I thought! Does anyone out there know Kimball? EQ Kimball?

Then Hudson southward to La Crosse, WI, switching back 'n forth from the west bank of Big Muddy in Minnesota, to the east bank in Wisconsin, where I found the RSM office tucked away in an unremarkable bank building by the river side. No RSM signage outside, so I had to venture indoors to find RSM listed on the building tenant kiosk.

All in all a great ride, arriving in Dubuque around 10pm, 1212 miles in 4 days.

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