Touch and Go

Trip Start May 09, 2011
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Trip End Jun 12, 2011


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Where I stayed
Rosie's Kitchen

Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Monday, May 16, 2011

Today, the trip is begun. I rode to Minneapolis in comfort and style on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, and so far, everything has worked out really well. I managed to time a layover in Milwaukee such that I could meet fellow Shimerian, jiu-jitsu expert, and freelance writer extraordinaire, Ya'el for lunch. I don’t know what it is about Shimer people, but it seems like when I see them we pick up right where we left off.
We stoked up stoked up the old Shimer gossip mill for just a minute as we finished eating, and when I looked at my watch I realized my train, which was ten minutes away, was leaving in five minutes! We both jumped up and ran to pay the check. Hoping beyond hope that I had made some terrible mistake I asked Ya’el “what time does my train leave?” She said “How should I know, it’s your train,” which was an admittedly fair response, but then, taking out her phone, asked “did you email it to me?” I said “Yes!.” I paid as fast as I could, but the waitress absorbed some of our panic and couldn’t get the debit card to work for an agonizing few seconds. Then Ya’el, unable to find my email with her phone, said “Don’t you have a ticket? That will have the time on it.” 
The ticket! Of course!
But I couldn’t find the ticket.
So now I am alternating between tearing my bag apart and trying to self administer a police pat down, Ya’el is desperately searching through emails on her phone, the waitress is trying to get my debit card to work, and I can’t find a ticket anywhere and am wondering if Ya’el and her car could possibly be capable of racing the train to the next stop and winning.
Finally, I found the ticket marking a page in my book on the history of Minneapolis, right where I left it... 
And I totally had another hour. 
We sat back down, giggling like kids, and the waitress re-filled our drinks and even brought me some more potato chips to replace the ones I had abandoned in my outlandishness.
The train ride up was nice, breaking the trip up in Milwaukee was a very good idea, and not having to sleep on the train was brilliant. I got some research done, talked to some Amish people (who I see very often on the train lately), and met a girl named Corryn from Detroit. 
It turns out she has traveled to both Europe and Africa, and was a very pleasant person to converse with. By the time the train rolled into Minneapolis it was almost difficult getting off because there were so many things left unsaid - and looking back, I curse myself as a fool for not saying hello to her earlier. After all, the first thing I saw her do was get a beer, carry it back to where we were sitting, and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner out of ingredients from her bag - How could someone who does that not be cool?
However, though I was complacent enough on the train, I was also exited to see, Dustin, Rose, and Minneapolis, and had to say farewell. Dustin and Rose met me at the station in an automobile, which really made things easier since the train station is in St. Paul, and without the new panniers the ride across the metro to Minneapolis with my gear in a duffel bag would be a long and terrible exercise in contorted, wobbly foolishness. Still, I always made a point of doing everything with a bike when I lived here, and getting in a car was a little strange. It made me feel like we had lost a little bit of our edge, but also like we had all gained a little bit of sanity and stability. 
I am really exited to be staying with Dustin and Rose. Obviously, they are great friends and wonderful people, and that is reason enough to be exited about seeing them. But I have more selfish motivations as well. Mostly this has to do with Rose’s job. She works for the city figuring out how to make it easier for people to ride their bicycles and walk. Minneapolis, in part through her efforts, was recently named the most bike friendly city in America by bicycling magazine, and before I leave here I want to find out as much as I can about how they have achieved this...
But now it is time to go to sleep in a quiet apartment in uptown Minneapolis, with art filling the walls, books filling the shelves, and bikes filling the basement. 
I miss it here...
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