MON, 17 APR 2023 RDU > MSY (Delta)
Mon May 22, 2023 MSP > RDU (Sun Country)
Paying for the flights (mostly) using the credits from my cancelled trip last year.
Starting in New Orleans, cycling to the Mississippi headwaters at Lake Itasca (near Minneapolis), and then either riding (or more likely catching a train) back to Minneapolis for the flight home. Or, I suppose, if things go horribly wrong (or horribly right), just riding home, adding another 2,000 km to an already 2500 km trip.
As a number of people have observed, I’m going backwards (south to north). There are a number of reasons for that. First, after my fall experience along the C&O, I’m disinterested in riding long sections of marshy water in the Fall. I can’t start early enough in the Spring in Minneapolis to avoid the heat in New Orleans if I head south. And finally, after following the Danube backwards for about that same distance, it’s like coming home.
Lake Itasca sits at 1400 ft. Took me a moment to read that in feet, not meters. I think I’ve climbed that far in meters in a single day before, so I should be OK!
I’m not convinced I’ve allocated enough time for this trip, but only one way to find out. I covered more ground that I expected on the Ithaca > Buffalo > RTP trip. Just not as many random things that catch my interest in the US.
In doing some research on the route, I’ve got the book Bicycling Guide To The Mississippi River Trail (which is, of course, in the other direction). I also stumbled across a supported touring company for the entire route, for “only” $13,800. Given an entire 16-week trip across Europe was $6,000, I think I can do better than that on my own. At least I hope so!