I went with girl2 to the Root River Trail after dropping girl1 off at 6 day girl scout camp in Houston, MN.

Girl2 and I were going to do a 5 mile portion of the trail from Lanesboro, to Whalan. Lanesboro is the quintessential, small-theater, antiques, funky clothing, local art gallery type place that is a center for tourism and river outfitters.

Whalan has a population of 63 but is home to a pie shop where I think 99.9 percent of bicyclists on the Root River trail stop. Aroma Pie Shop (once voted America’s best pies in Travel and Leisure Magazine) features Blueberry Rhubarb pie, something you must all try once before you die.

Sadly, we calculated we wouldn’t make the pie shop before closing time, so we ended up starting with pie in Whalan first, and then biked about 30 minutes on the paved, mostly-level trail to Lanesboro. Girl2 counted 9 bridges. Very cool trail.

In Lanesboro, killing time while waiting for Naoto to come pick us up (he was fishing) we went into one of the aforementioned local artist galleries. The gallery clerk pops up with a beanie baby and hands it to girl2. Apparently they keep a stock of beanie babies around to give (for free) to any children to hold in the gallery so the children won’t touch the art.

After that we went to a wooden spoon store where the owner said Sunday happened to be his “good deed” day. If you write down a good deed you promise to enact on a piece of paper and hang it in the window, he’ll give you some free exotic wood chopsticks.

Girl2 and I went yesterday and picked up garbage at her elementary school in exchange for the Lacewood chopsticks she picked out.

And, last but not least, I got my first income from sales of my ebook Tiger Lily today. Not cause for Naoto to quit his job, but enough to make up the cost of commissioning a cover 🙂