Day 2: June 17, 2016
Non-express Expressway

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The day's beginning was delightful. I sipped coffee on a bench just outside my room while watching the sunrise over Wisconsin on the far side of the Mississippi River.

Leaving Guttenberg, the road quickly turned away from the river but remained pleasant two-lane for the next hundred miles or so. I had a very nice breakfast at the Old Tyme Cafe in Chatfield and anticipated a day filled with winding road and scenic country. That was not to be, however. In about a dozen miles, just before passing under I-90, the road became divided four-lane and that is what I would have for most of the rest of the day.

Traffic picked up as I approached Minneapolis-Saint Paul and I thought the city rather congested. Not LA-rush-hour congested but more-than-I-like congested. I had plotted what maps told me was US-52 through the city and that's the path I followed but I would see no more US-52 signs today. My impression is that Minnesota doesn't sign US routes that follow an interstate and US-52 did not appear to be signed at all through the city. Perhaps its official route is now aligned with some interstate bypass. The capitol appears to be getting a little freshening.

I picked up I-94 at the edge of Minneapolis and would finish out the day on it. The pavement is shared by US-52 but you wouldn't know that by driving it. I did not see one US-52 sign although I'll admit I could have missed one in the congestion, construction, rain, and -- for a few uncomfortable minutes -- hail. Even with all that going on, there were occasional glimpses of attractive countryside.

I was ready to end my day when I reached the town of Fergus Falls so I did. I checked into a motel then headed for the town brewery. Cincinnati American Pale Ale topped the list of Union Pizza & Brewing offerings but it wasn't in honor of my visit. Although the name comes from the brewery's Union Street address, the logo features Union General Ulysses Grant and the APA was named after his horse. I tried it, of course, and also tried the Jeff Davis Porter which is named after another of the general's horses. Jeff Davis was actually a pony that Grant acquired from the plantation owned by the brother of the Confederacy's President. Both were good though I liked the the porter best.

I'd picked Motel 7 (We'll leave two lights on for you?) from TripAdvisor reviews. My room was clean and reasonably priced and I liked the simple but working neon.

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