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Stage 629 – Mahnomen to Callaway

I think once this stage is over, you can deduce that the ATW route is going between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan on its way over to Montreal. Not that the stage makes any significant progress east towards the great lakes: it’s all south down towards Detroit Lake and all of the little lakes that surround it. And it’s a climbing stage, particularly towards the end and sadly, for perhaps the third stage in a row, the highest elevation is at the end, with the lowest having been at the start.

The rollout is lumpy flat all the way to Waubun at seven miles where State Highway 113 intersects with the east/west Highway 59. Waubun marks the last of the easy stuff and as the road carries on south past the Wildlife Management Areas at Waubun and Spring Creek, so the road starts to rise up. The first summit is at the Spring Creek WMA, which is followed by a bunch of small lakes on the left, Morrison Lake and Ogema Lake being the most prominent.

It’s relatively flat past Ogema Lake and into the town itself but as the road approaches the South Branch Wild Rice River at thirteen miles, the gradient increases again. The river flows west from Otto Lake that sits a mile away to the east (left), and there’s more water at fifteen miles when Highway 59 crosses a tributary into the Buffalo River that’s flowing west from Ogema Springs Wildlife Management Area.

The gradient kicks up steeply from seventeen miles and there are two more water crossings, one a stream and the other the Buffalo River itself, on the approach to Calloway and the end of the stage. The road hangs a left at County Highway 14 after twenty miles and it is the process of negotiating the subsequent right hander when the stage ends outside Historic Callaway Elementary School at Manitoba Street.

Distance: 20 miles / 32 kilometres

Ascent: 400 feet / 122 metres

RGT Magic Road: hzxJ8JGXiXrd

Total distance: 20.47 mi
Max elevation: 1355 ft
Min elevation: 1204 ft
Total climbing: 400 ft
Total descent: -250 ft

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