Fighting off fatigue, semitrailer trucks and a few navigational blunders, Abe Kolstad completed a 3,217-mile bike ride across the country this week in the name of his brother, brain-injury victim Isaac Kolstad.

By the time Abe, 22, dipped his bike tires in the Atlantic Ocean at Rehoboth Beach, Del., to complete the ride, he had raised thousands of dollars for people like Isaac who are struggling to overcome traumatic brain or spinal-cord injuries.

Kolstad said his brother was fortunate to have community support when he was injured last year in a fight in downtown Mankato. The money raised from the bike ride will go to victims who don't have the same support, he said.

Kolstad rode about 80 miles a day as his father, Blaine, drove a support vehicle. He started May 21 in Newport, Ore., enjoyed Idaho scenery, stayed upright as trucks roared past and camped with his father along the way.

"I was happy to see it end, but it was a lot of fun," said Kolstad.

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Matt McKinney @_mattmckinney


Newer, faster gondola coming to ski hills

Skiers at Lutsen Mountains will get a faster ride up the hills after the resort installs a new $7 million gondola.

The new towers, faster-moving cables and larger, eight-person red gondola cars will initially increase rider capacity to 1,000 per hour. The existing gondola moves 300.

The new gondola could eventually carry 2,400 skiers per hour with more cars added, said Jim Vick, Lutsen Mountains marketing director.

Construction of the new gondola is next to the existing one, which will continue operating through the summer. Cars from the old gondola will be auctioned in the fall.

The new gondola is scheduled to open Nov. 15.

Pam Louwagie @pamlouwagie

Pine County

DNR to auction off former St. Croix Boys Camp

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is auctioning off a riverfront parcel near Sandstone, Minn., that was once home to the Wilder Foundation's St. Croix Boys Camp.

The 81-acre property, which includes 18 buildings and 3,000 feet of frontage along the Lower Tamarack River, will be auctioned Aug. 14. Open houses will be held Thursday, Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 8.

The DNR has been trying to sell the Pine County property for years. The agency sought the Legislature's permission this year to sell the parcel for less than market value.

The property will be sold as-is and the minimum bid is $199,990.

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