Looking for a place where I could pull over to stretch or work out, to punctuate all the sedentary time spent in the car, I looked up crossfit gyms that may be located en route to St Paul, Minnesota- my final destination for the day. I called up a gym (or “box” as the hardcore followers like to say) and was invited to one of the evening classes. I showed up in La Crosse, Wisconsin ahead of schedule and discovered an incredibly beautiful, quaint, lake town. I fell I love immediately. I can’t do it justice on this blog, but I’ll leave you with a serious suggestion to pass through if you find yourself in the area someday.
Think Roanoke, Virginia meets Portland, Maine. It was so great, the people so kind. And the gym itself was awesome, I’d never seen one that nice. Everyone there was unbelievably welcoming and friendly, to this traveler who happened upon their tiny town. And they ended up giving me the class for free! Totally on the house! By the time I was back on the road for Minnesota, I was worked out, cheered up, and witnessing one of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Saint Paul was nearly as charming, but more for the company than its sunsets. I stayed with a friend I met a few years back at tech, but who had since transferred to school in St Paul for music. In anticipation of the longer drives I had ahead, I chose to stay an extra day here and it was totally worth it. As his class schedule conveniently allowed, we spent the day exploring the city, and Minneapolis some as well. I’d been here once before for gymnastics, but having someone else give you a tour of their favorite hidden spots is a way cooler way to see a city. Part of what was so great was the lack of pressure to see absolutely everything. We just hung out, saw some things, talked a ton, and it was the best, totally relaxing time. After being on my first impression A game for the past few days staying with new faces, getting to chill out and just be for a moment was its own kind of recharging.
Now I’m headed onward. I left before dawn today and am finishing up a lunch break in Omaha at the moment. This coffee shop makes their own granola and puts swirlies in their lattes. Needless to say, we’re getting along just fine. Gearing up for the final leg of the Midwest adventure as I aim for Denver by tonight.