Day 20
June 30

Distance Travelled: 98.95 km (Lodging: Reverend Cindy’s, Park Rapids, Minnesota)

I stopped at a grocery store in Dorset for a drink and an ice cream in the sticky heat. One ice cream sandwich was 99 cents, whereas a pack of six ice cream sandwiches was $2.39. The choice was obvious. Although the decision made clear economic sense, it stopped making real-life sense after the fourth ice cream sandwich, when I started feeling not so good and still had two rapidly-melting sticks of ice cream to consume.

I stayed in Park Rapids with Cindy. She has a degree in civil engineering and worked in an asphalt plant chemical lab, until the chemicals did something to her brain so that now she periodically loses balance without warning. As a result she got an assistance dog and through that experience became very involved in dog training, teaching several classes in town and moving to California for nine months this fall to become formally certified as a trainer of assistance dogs.

She is also a reverend and says she is waiting for god’s orders on what to do in that respect. Her home was constructed through Habitat for Humanity and she did a huge amount of work on it herself, as well as extensive remodelling when it was done. Cindy is an artist and this combined in an interesting way with her engineering skills and love of bikes. The guest room was bike-themed, with bike-wheel windows underneath the bunk bed, a light hangning from a bike wheel with a bike chain wrapped along the cord and a handlebar coathanger. A couple years ago Cindy cycled 500 miles in a recumbent bike through Minnesota, pulling her 80-pound assistance dog in a trailer.