I've been trying to do more bike packing recently.

It's a marvelous way to disconnect and explore the backroads and haunts of the area around Sioux Falls. And you generally don't have to go that far to find great experiences.

This weekend (July 14-15) we returned to Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne, Minn.

The crew from Spoke-n-Sport is taking the Blue Mounds journey this coming weekend (July 21-22) but schedules prevented us from making that one. If you're interested get in touch.

It's a nice campground and all, but the real treat is hanging out in Luverne. Here's the deal, I don't mind camping but I also like a nice meal and a bottle of wine. You can get that in Luverne.

We returned to Sterling's Cafe & Grille, which is a solid experience by any measure. Great food with a nice variety in the menu. It's lovely inside, but since we're camping and all, we took a sidewalk table.

If you want to take a drive and have a nice dinner, that's OK too. I won't hold it against you, but we biked into town.

Coming into Luverne, before we hit the state park, we had to stop at Take 16 Brewing. They've opened a comfortable and friendly tap room with a patio and all that.

Great beer and great staff make a must stop.

Out at the campground, things were fine. I'm not going to lie to you, the mosquitoes were brutal, but we managed with a combination of repellent and spending more time in town eating and drinking. So everything was fine.

Which is all to say that bike packing is relaxing way to find new places, see new things and meet new people.

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