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Moorhead, MN (through July 14, 2010)

posted Jul 13, 2010, 10:19 PM by Matthew Gorzlancyk   [ updated Jul 30, 2010, 1:58 PM ]
Since my last post I had my first rough night. I made it to Brandon, MN which is just past Alexandria, MN. I had stopped for a beer to see if I could scrounge up a place to crash but was unable to figure something out. I left around 700pm and got back on the Central Lakes trail that ended in Fergus Falls, MN. Along the way I decided I would do a bit more 'stealth camping.' I jumped off the trail, which was along the highway, and setup a tent just over a hill in a farmer's field. I was unsure as to whether or not anybody had seen me, or if I was visible from an adjacent county road. I set up anyway. As the night fell I became more comfortable, with exception of the mosquitoes that kept eating me as I was setting up. There had to have been at least 40 waiting outside the screen door of my tent. I didn't even want to attempt to shut the rain fly for I would receive a bombardment of bug bites.
Well, I tried to sleep after speaking with my mom... twenty minutes later the nerves began getting the best of me. I sat by the screen with my police baton at the ready for a good, but not so good, 45 minutes. I finally said forget it and laid down. No more than an hour later, I was awoken by lights. I thought it was a flashlight due to my nerve issues. I ended up perched at the door to my tent for at least an hour. Finally when I had my wits I shut the rainfly and fell asleep with my baton on my chest. What a rough night.
It ended up that nobody found me, but it had stormed the night before, and was still storming at 730am when I woke up. I ended up sleeping in a bit, but I should have just gotten up. I left sometime after 930-1000am. I packed up in a haze and felt pretty silly about the night before. Once I left I ran into a father-son touring pair. They were headed from Seattle, WA to Connecticut. They threw me a pointer or two. For instance, in Havre you can stay at the University for $10 a night at the dorm! Boom-bam! These two also told me of Turkey Days in Pelican Rapids. Glad they did!....
Made it into Fergus in the late afternoon and hit up some Burger King, a favorite of mine. Fergus Falls experienced some torrential rain and some twisting clouds that were almost hitting tornado status. It passed in an hour, but it worked out that I could get some list-making finished. When it stopped raining I made my way on the road to Pelican Rapids, MN for Turkey Days. The only killer of the ride has been teenage punk kids yelling out their windows and running the rumble strips to scare me lately. A couple kids in a Silverado did this on my way to Pelican Rapids, MN.
When I finally made it to the glorious and beautiful city of Pelican Rapids, MN I asked around for the campsite in the city. Once figured out I grabbed a much desired 40oz. of High Life for setup (after the previous evening, I was looking forward to a beer or 40oz of it...). Upon entering the camprground I noticed there was a couple with a little pooch camping near the river. I decided to approach them and ask if I could set my tent up near theirs. They were very nice and welcoming and said, "set your tent up wherever and feel free to share our fire and have a weiner or two!" What a relief their presence was. We ended up hanging out by the fire for a few hours and shared our stories and background. John and Jenny Centko were their names. Fantastic people. They then welcomed me to stay with them in Moorhead, MN (Without hesitation they offered. Very unusual in the U.S. I had thought! But, I suppose the Meihack's and Docter's were on board also...).
When they crashed I ventured toward the live music in town, it did not last long once I arrived, but the people watching was pretty...pretty...pretty...good. Headed back and crashed. (I had also arranged a stay with my buddy Ben Brekken's family in Detroit Lakes/Audubon for the next night.
Once up and at it, John and I grabbed coffee and fruit for breakfast, prior to their fishing trip. I told them I would meet them the following night in Moorhead. Jumped on the bike around 200pm and headed for the Brekken family residence. 
When I arrived at Russ and Judy Brekken's place I was welcomed with a great pigskin toss with Ben's brother Tim. *That kid has an arm on him, wow!!* It is nice to toss around a ball with an athlete, like my brother Austin... Russ was roofing the house, and when he finished I was able to enjoy the company of another great dude. Shortly thereafter, Judy showed up after a girls' day. We had a very nice meal and following I was able to spend some time with Grandpa Brekken, Russ' sister, her husband, and their daughter. *Talk about some amazing guacamole!*
I was fortunate to spend some time with both Russ and Judy, even given that they were beginning the work week. Tim and I got in a game of Madden in the morning, but he destroyed me 31-0 by half-time with the Vikings of all teams... Good work Tim. Thanks for everything Brekken's! Lunch, Dinner, a bed, and great company. Give Charlie an ear scratch for me.
After lunch with Tim and Russ I hit the road for Moorhead, MN. Upon arrival, the Centko's made a wonderful dinner focused around fresh veggies and fruits. We had burgers, steak, salmon steak, and an amazing vegetable combination. Following dinner, we enjoyed some wine on the deck with one of their friends, Chrissie (Christie). We discussed car problems, John's European travel, and my trip. 

Fortunately, the Centko's were cool with me staying the following day due to the weather concerns for the following day. There were tornado warnings and it rained on and off all evening and through the night. It is really quite amazing how much more of the sky you can see in western Minnesota and North Dakota. It is also significantly windier than I have really ever experienced due to the vast open spaces.

On the 14th I was finally ready to get moving. It is very difficult to get motivated following a couple of nights in a bed and receiving such wonderful treatment. Louis woke me up by harassing me until I could not handle it anymore. He is squirrelly little bugger in the morning. The energy level of that little doggie is at 100% in the morning. Wow! I got in a little 'Family Guy' on and then got on the bike and hit the road. Jumped on highway 75 and began heading north...