Road trip to Albert Lea, MN – WOW!

by on July 28, 2005
in Iowa Rides

Wow, what an awesome weekend!! I just completed my first “real bike trip” riding my own! My plan was to meet up with some of the gals in my online “biker sisterhood,” then we were all going to go on a ride together around southern MN. A friend of mine here at work, who also rides her own, asked if she might go with me as far as Clear Lake, where her parents live, so this became our first ride together, the first overnight trip for both of us, and the longest trip to date for both of us.

We had several people from the online group scheduled to meet us in Albert Lea. We weren’t sure what the weather was going to do – we knew it was going to be hot, but not sure what we would do if it poured rain as some were predicting.

Susan, my work buddy, (who rides an ’03 pearl white Sportster 883) eventually decided to forego the visit to her parents and ride with me on up to Albert Lea. We left Des Moines at 7:30 Saturday morning. It was warm, but humid, so the air was moist and once we got moving it was pretty enjoyable. We rode north up Highway 69, which was absolutely beautiful – the fields are full, and all looks really healthy and green. We traveled 88 miles before our first stop, which was in Belmond. We topped off the gas tanks, drank some water, and then from Belmond we rode straight into Albert Lea, arriving at 11:30 a.m. We navigated through town up to Bergdale Harley Davidson where we bought some souvenir t-shirts, then headed over to the truck stop to meet the other folks.

As it turned out, only one of the other gals could make it down to meet us – the others all got pummeled with a major thunderstorm in the Twin Cities/Minnetonka area. But Lynn arrived and the three of us had lunch and then headed out for our planned ride with her in the lead… we went east out of Albert Lea on Hwy 46, picked up 90, then 63 south at Spring Valley… found a convenience store off 63 and took a long break… then back onto 63 south down to Hwy 56, a designated scenic byway. We travelled on 56 back to the northwest, through Le Roy, Tapaoi, and ending at Rose Creek, which is a few miles south of where 56 meets up again with 90. It was about a 100 mile loop, mostly east and south of Austin, MN.

We gassed up at a little mom-and-pop gas station in Rose Creek run by this older couple, who were pretty interested in the three biker chicks! Then Lynn took off towards home about 5 p.m. and Susan and I took a round-about way back to Clear Lake where we had booked a room to stay overnight. We had decided to avoid I-90 on the way back, so instead we took 218 south into Iowa, passed through St. Ansgar and Osage, then picked up Hwy 9 and went through Manly, Fertile, and finally arriving in Clear Lake about 7 p.m. We totaled about 325 miles for the day.

The hotel was decent, and the manager let us park our bikes right outside the office window so they and the security folks could keep an eye on them for us. We had supper at Perkins, then back to the hotel to sleep. (In bed by 9:30?? What happened to those wild biker chicks?? LOL) 

We were up early, packed, checked out, and were warming up the bikes by 7:30 Sunday morning; south down Highway 69 we stopped again at Belmond for a potty break, then again at Jewel for gas and to watch a train go by (not much choice in that one… LOL) then one more stop outside of Ankeny (close to home) to say good-bye… again a beautiful ride because it was early and still somewhat cool with the wind. My mileage was 460 for the entire trip; Susan had another 15 or so on top of that because she had to ride up to my house for the start and then home at the end. 

It was a beautiful, trouble-free weekend and I can’t WAIT to plan something else!!

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