- When I first arrived in Wisconsin I was greeted by this puny little sign. I was thinking Wisconsin could do a bit better. Note the heavy clouds in the background in this picture and most of the others. I was sure at some point I was going to get dumped on – it never happened!
- Crossing BACK over the mighty Mississippi was VERY exciting for me. I remember the excitement going the other way was due to a real sign that my adventure was starting. Crossing back over the Mississippi means I am going home – much more exciting.
- Picture of the Mississippi when I am halfway over the bridge.
- A much better welcome ae sign into the mighty state of Wisconsin.
- Given the high changes of rain over the last week I feel forced to sleep in motels. It also makes it so much easier to get WiFi and gadgets charged.
Today was one of the most interesting days of my trip. Interesting because we had a huge thunderstorm (with tornado watch) last night, rains continuing throughout the day, many rolling hills, cool temperatures (64 degrees at 1:30 p.m.), the expected winds, simply gorgeous scenery and a crossing BACK over the Mississippi River. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Left the motel this morning with wet pavement, cloudy skies and ominous clouds. I just had to go a block down the street to get some breakfast so I was going to watch the weather and decide what to do. Elkader is in a valley so I figured that maybe, some of the clouds had just settled to the lower valley and it would clear up as I got to higher elevations. If you checked out the pictures you will note that I was wrong. The yellow bag covers you see on MG are directly related to the drizzly rain that we experienced much of the morning and early afternoon.
Something I didn’t know was that Eastern Iowa and Western Wisconsin are fairly hilly. The hills weren’t huge and I enjoyed the change of path. Kansas, Nebraska and most of Iowa was flat and straight – where is the fun in that.
I was on WI-60 East most of the day (after leaving Iowa of course) which is a Wisconsin Scenic by-Way. Unexpectedly this is my favorite scenic by way to date. Even though the sun wasn’t out, the magnificent trees, lush grass, plentiful water (60 parallels Blue River), and the hills acting as a backdrop made the ride fun and interesting.
The most exciting part of the morning? It appears that MG no longer has a persistent leak in the back tire. The guess that the rim had a defect and tape covering it appears to have fixed the problem. Still not 100% sure that this is the case but boy it is a great indicator when I am not by the side of the road pumping air. This may be a HUGE win for the good guys!
In spite of the good day I was sucking wind the last 20 miles. I may have eaten too much energy “replacement” food in the beginning of the ride (first 40 miles) and not enough the last 60 miles (did 104 miles today). The reason for this is simple. I don’t have a lot of food stores at this point and what I have most of is Welch’s Fruit Snacks (‘made with 100% real juice’). I just don’t like the gummy bear like texture and decided I would rather starve than eat any of them. I paid the price.
In Sauk City my first stop was Piggly Wiggly for two boxes of “Sweet and Salty Chewy Granola Bars”. I won’t crash again.
Really excited about tomorrow. When I decided on returning via a “northern route” I wasn’t really sure what I was going to target. A week or so ago dear friends asked if I would like to stay with them and I jumped at the opportunity since it is on the northern route was was an ideal stopping point. Tomorrow’s ride will take me to Mequon, Wisconsin (never been to that part of Wisconsin) which is 96 miles away. I am real excited about the trip and anxious to get started.
Forgotten Item: I meant to tell you and forgot, the Lincoln Highway is a scenic by way in Ohio with part of it up by my house. I crossed signs for this highway throughout the West. The other day I saw a sign that said, “The Lincoln Highway crosses 13 states and goes for 3398 miles”. If you are looking to cruise the highways this might be a route to check out.
Nature’s Weird: Red-winged Blackbirds have well populated the sides of the highways. What I noticed is that they typically have a couple of “guards” up on the telephone wires with additional guards in the tall cross. What I noticed is that when I go by their territories they will launch by ones or twos and fly in formation over me clicking with a tone that is warning me away. Occasionally they will pass me off to birds on down the road. I find this hilarious. If I were to stop what are they going to do, kick me? Little creatures are too funny.
Rest Stops: There are rest stops on the scenic by ways. Usually they just have the grass cut, nice shade trees and a picnic table. I think of the big rest stops on the interstates and how rushed and crowded they can be and compare them to these simple rest stops. Given the choice I would go rustic every time. Strongly recommend that you consider taking “…the road less traveled” to see how you might enjoy the change.
May the start to this new week be the best ever!