Will bike for burritos and beer

It was cloudy and threatening rain when we woke up, but we soon realized the bad weather was skirting around us to the north, so we hit the lake. Today Beth and Bill joined Tom and me on our trip to Pike Bay. It didn’t take as long for us to find “the spot” today, and we caught three fish in the first few minutes. We kept pulling them in all morning, and ended up with a total of 26 (16 perch and 10 rock bass), enough for the fish fry we’re hoping to have tomorrow evening.

Once we figured out the logistics, our afternoon fell into place very nicely. Tom spent a couple of hours cleaning fish, while Beth, Elise and I drove both cars down to Walker so we could do some shopping at all our favorite shops. We browsed around Christmas Point, picked up our Highlander Grogg coffee at Jenny and Co., and found a couple more puzzles for Dad.

While we were shopping, the bikers were getting ready to roll! Tom took off for Walker on the Heartland Trail. Not long after, Bill, Nicole, William and Zach hopped on their bikes and headed down the same trail. By the time Tom arrived in Walker, I was ready to join him as we continued down the Heartland Trail to the southwest, toward Park Rapids.

The two of us left Walker around 5:00, but it was still toasty warm. Luckily, much of the trail is shaded. We had to dodge a few pine cones and one turtle, but otherwise we had the trail much to ourselves, seeing only an occasional biker or runner. We enjoyed the quiet, and the unique flora of northern Minnesota.

We stopped for a break in Akeley, where we again posed for a selfie with Paul Bunyan (his likeness is found all over northern Minnesota!). A few miles farther down the path, in Nevis, we were going to stop for a very quick rest, but found a nice surprise. Live music was coming from a little picnic shelter. Only a handful of people were enjoying the outdoor venue, so we sat down to join them for a few minutes. We also found the World’s Largest Tiger Muskie! Who knew Nevis, Minnesota held so many treasures?

We finished off our ride (24 miles for me, 47 total for Tom), as we pulled into Zorbaz, our traditional “out for pizza” place. We know it’s crazy to drive an hour (or bike several) for pizza, but Zorbaz is a unique blend of pizza and Mexican cuisine we all crave. They have a vast beer list and a fun menu that changes every “s” to a “z.” It’s a Minnesota chain, and they’re celebrating 50 years this year! We’ve been going for at least 15 or 20 of those 50! This year was just like every other year, except we opted for burritos instead of pizza. Oh, and it’s the first time we’ve been there without any of our kids. Sniff, sniff.

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Beth and Bill and gang had already arrived a few minutes earlier, having loaded up their bikes in Walker and driven the rest of the way to meet us. We were all hungry from biking, but left feeling stuffed.

When we arrived home around 10:00 p.m., we found Mom and Dad had already gone to bed. Dad has been struggling with the puzzle we brought from home for him. It depicts the Notre Dame football stadium and campus, but the pieces are small and the details very hard to see. Since we had found some nicer, large-piece puzzles for him in Walker, five of us set to work on finishing the Notre Dame puzzle. A few minutes past midnight, we put the 2nd to the last piece in the puzzle. We saved the last piece for Dad to place in the puzzle in the morning. It was a fun team effort!

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