Hank – It doesn’t happen often but every once in a while I get up in the morning feeling like crap and all lethargic thinking, “I really don’t want to ride my bike today.” Today was one of those days. But we went anyway. Around the 13-mile mark of the ride Kathy said she was feeling the same way and was all for stopping in Ostrander, which was the about the halfway point of today’s projected ride. That sounded good to me.
We followed County Road 3 all the way to Ostrander. The main roads there are all torn up and under construction so we had some gravel to get through. We headed to Susie’s Roadhouse, which Terry and Jan highly recommended last night. We got there before they opened but we didn’t have to wait long. The doors opened 30 minutes early at 11:30 and Jennifer told us to come on in. She brought us popcorn and peanuts, hence the “Where you can throw your nuts on the floor” saying. We ordered the baby back ribs and they were even more impressive than the BBQ we had yesterday at Piggy Blues. The meat just fell off the bones.
Jennifer told us this weekend was Uff Da Days in Ostrander. We were missing the tractor pull but we could make the watermelon feed at 3:00 pm if we wanted. We asked Jennifer if there was a place we could pitch our tent. She checked with the mayor, who happens to own Susie’s Roadhouse. No luck but Jennifer told us about a free campground in Spring Valley about seven miles away. But then Meagan, who Jennifer was telling about us, offered to let us camp in her yard here in town. How awesome is that! We got her address and headed over after we ate.
I took a nap and my snoring kept Kathy awake. I woke just when it started raining and I got out of the tent to put the rain fly on. After the rain passed I walked around town for a bit. I ran into Meagan at the restaurant and she told me where Nate’s shop was so I could stop by and meet him. When I finally left, Meagan was outside the restaurant and told me Nate was next door instead. I met Nate, his friend Jimmy, and Pat Nesler, who is the mayor and owns Susie’s. While we were chatting about the heat, humidity, and the bugs, Pat got an idea. He keeps his shop air conditioned. If we had sleeping pads we could sleep on his shop floor. Plus there’s a bathroom. I texted Kathy and she came back with an enthusiastic “YES!” So I went back to break camp and move to the shop.
After putting our stuff in the shop we returned to Susie’s for dinner. Jennifer, Mandy, and Tonya took good care of us. Tired and well fed, we retired for the evening. I chatted with Jimmy for a bit. He races a car at drag races. It’s an expensive hobby but he loves working on his car and racing it.
Kathy – As Hank stated, today was one of those days where I just didn’t want to ride. I was tired from not sleeping well in the bed at the cheap hotel, my body ached all over and the last thing I wanted to do was ride our projected 55 miles today in the heat. Well, I decided to buck up and get it done thinking I would feel better once I started riding. Nope, I still didn’t feel much better at our 13 mile mark so I broached the idea with Hank to call it an early day. I was happy he was up for it. It was another hot and humid day with the heat index up to 95 degrees. The 32 mile ride was absolutely beautiful today through the countryside.
Ostrander, Minnesota is a great little town, population 256 people. We met many of them and everyone was very kind and generous. If you ever go to Ostrander, Minnestoa, a stop to Susie’s Roadhouse is a must! I was expecting your typical bar food and was pleasantly surprised to see a real menu with many great choices. The food was simply amazing, and I’m not saying this because we were starving – which we were, but really it was truly top notch food and a wonderful salad bar to go with it. The staff (Jennifer, Mandy, Tonya and Meagan) are some of the friendliest you will meet anywhere. They welcome you and meet your every need. Jennifer is a wiz with drinks also. She made me a ‘homemade’ Mike’s Hard Lemonade which was to die for, and then topped that with a drink called “A Little Slice of Heaven.” Let’s just say, I’m feeling fine. 🙂
Meagan was very kind to offer us a camping site in her front yard between shade trees. It was super hot with the humidity as we tried to take a nap, so when Hank said Pat offered us his air conditioned shop for us to sleep in tonight I was all over it. We are very thankful for Pat and Kim (who own Susie’s) to let us sleep in Pat’s shop. These two are great people as it was evident seeing them interact with the staff and customers throughout the evening at the restaurant/bar. We are grateful for their kindness and trust in strangers by allowing us to spend the night in their shop. We are thankful for all the people of Ostrander, Minnesota, they are just another reminder that there are many more kind people in this world than is reflected in our news. Feeling grateful and blessed tonight.