Day 17.

Day 17 - Clinton, IA, to Lake Elmo, MN

Run - None

From the eyes of Charlie.

Today was a great day! It started out with an incredible cup of coffee at 392° Caffe in Clinton, Iowa. I’m talking fruity notes, balanced acidity, served on a wooden slab, cupped in what looked like a bourbon tasting glass. This coffee was top notch. And no wonder. According to Nico and Sadie who had visited 392 yesterday, the owner used to live in downtown LA, so he learned the coffee trade there and brought his coffee acumen to Clinton. Soon after the caffeination, we set off on our 5.5 hour drive to Minneapolis which felt almost routine at this point (day 17!!). It’s incredible how easily one gets used to driving long-distances daily. Every single RRT-er took turns driving, we made enough stops to ensure that nobody’s butt fell asleep and nobody’s bladder exploded, and I even got a job application wrapped up and submitted while we were en route. Such a productive day! That mobile hotspot really is coming in clutch. Shoutout to the Verizon Jetpack. Wish that Verizon would have sponsored us and provided the device for free, but still the $50 price tag is not too bad for a device that starts up within 15 seconds, supports 8 devices at a time, has a 5-6 hour battery life, and reception comparable to any modern cell phone.

Once we arrived in Minneapolis (er...was it St. Paul?), we visited Sadie’s friend from study abroad: Paige! Nice to meet you Paige! She showed us to the local brewery called Surly Brewing. This place was absolutely massive. Now I’ve only been 21 for about a year now, but I think I can say definitively that the building we ate and drank in tonight was one of the biggest craft breweries in the country. The place was brand-spanking new, with vaulted ceilings, exposed metal everywhere, and expansive glass panels exposing its shiny beer tanks for the world to see. That said, my beer wasn’t mind-blowing; it couldn’t hold a candle to Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, MO (although perhaps that’s an unfair comparison). But still, I found the whole enterprise very well-run and very impressive! Kudos to the architect of the building, and to the brewers!

Now we’ve parked at a self-proclaimed world famous ice cream spot outside of St. Paul called Nelson’s Ice Cream. According to their sign out front, they’ve been serving the stuff since 1923. Since I’m the only vegan ding-dong in the entire group, I decided to sit this one out and compose my blog post in the car while everyone else dines on frozen cow’s milk. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s blog post to get the full scoop on Nelson’s Ice Cream and its quality. Keep in mind that all the potential blog posters and ice cream eaters were all at one time officially employed ice cream scoopers at Boulder’s own Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato, so you can expect some very informed reviews! Enjoy the cream Nico, Sadie, Bailee, and Paige! I on the other hand am so excited to wake up tomorrow and gallop through the leafy landscapes of “Minnesooouta”, as the locals say it. 

Until next time,


Facts/Stats of the day:

Miles driven: 395

Miles run: 0

Elevation gained (feet): 0

Size of child's scoops at Nelson: Enormous!

Number of people age 65 or above with Alzheimer's: 1 in 10

Fund research here: