Date: June 27, 2017
Distance: 40 miles
Weather: Sunny, mid 70's.
Highlights of the trip: spectacular scenery throughout the ride, beautifully maintained rest stops along the trail.
I wasn't too happy about going to a funeral on my birthday, but the unfortunate timing did have a silver lining in that we decided to take an extra day driving back from Minneapolis and use that mini-vacation to do something celebratory. Almost as an afterthought, we threw a couple of demo Brompton bikes into the trunk before heading out of the house.
After the funeral, and some social time with relatives, we left Minneapolis in the late afternoon. We chose quiet roads and planned to stop in the town of Red Wing on the banks of the Mississippi. We visited there many years back, and remembered it for the Red Wing Shoe factory there. On our approach into town, Chris spotted a sign that he thought said "Canyon" Valley Trail, which is how we decided we would spend the night in town and ride the trail the following day. Chris loves canyons.
The sign in fact said "Cannon" Valley Trail, but we decided to ride it anyway, and it ended up being one of the most memorable and beautiful rides of the year for us. This trail was our first encounter with trail day fees. In this instance I can honestly say the $4 per person contribution was well worth it. Cannon River Trail is one of the best maintained trails I've ever been on, with beautifully landscaped bike rest areas, complete with self-service bike repair stations over the length of the trail.