Thursday, July 19, 2012

La Crosse, Wisconsin - Day 32

As one of our friends said, "the days don't always turn out like you think they might." Today was one of those days in a lovely way. Everything just worked. I think after yesterday, we weren't expecting it. We started out a little after seven in the fog. It was so moist you could feel it on your skin. We had very little wind and it was really quite magical with the fog engulfing us and limiting visibility. We were surrounded by green and grey. ( Sing to the tune of "Yellow Submarine":Sky of gray and fields of green, on our bicycles along we scream. After our first sag stop it started to clear up and we entered more rolling, tree covered hills. The corn that had gone on forever, now was contained by wooded forests. And.. the road surface was smooth and wonderful. 

We also got to ride for 13 miles through a tunnel of trees on a gorgeous bike path along the Root River. We ended up in the little town of Houston at a great Cafe where we got a coffee/tea and croissant/scone and I felt sick afterward! That wasn't so good as we had a big climb soon after... nevertheless if fueled me and I enjoyed the climb.

That put us up on a ridge line with corn, soybeans and hay or grass planted on the hillsides in waves, with trees and farms on hilltops. It reminded me of driving in England and France, when you look across fields to little towns, only here they are farms. We had hardly any traffic and a great road. 

So again the landscape is changing and we continue to be in awe of this beautiful and varied country we live in.

The day was capped off as entered Wisconsin and crossed the Mississippi River, a huge landmark for us, into the small and charming town of La Crosse, WI - named for the American Indian game of lacrosse!

Great fun from last night when I hooked up with my old and dear friend Cheryl Frarck who was my partner in Alaska 40 years ago when I worked for the Presbyterian Church. We have not seen each other since, and she lives near Rochester, MN. We found each other on Facebook a few months back, so she came over and we had dinner together and tried to catch up. Needless to say, a few hours didn't quite do it, but it was a beginning. 

Today, however, we had some sad news and that is that our friend, Ray from England, has had to leave after falling from his bike while trying to take a photo and breaking his collar bone. He has been so enthusiastic and fun, with a great sense of humor and kindness and he will be greatly missed. He brought so much life to our group. 

So, we remind ourselves to be careful and stay focused, and to not get complacent!

Day 32
Miles - 89
Total Miles - 2398
Elevation Gain - 3684
Next stop - Wisconsin Dells, WI

Our first sag stop the park identified below

Our morning views

The roadsides were covered with Queen Anne's Lace - so pretty

Lefse for Dennis and his Norwegian Heritage

The bike path

The Root River alongside the bike path

Corn with forested hillsides

Cornfields at the end of the bike path

Patterned corn grass or soybean fields

From wooded hillsides to marsh land
full of lily pads

Polly, Charlie from NH, Ainsley from Australia, Tony from Colorado and Mimi

The Antiques hit another state!

The Mighty Mississippi

Polly crossing the Mississippi

The Antiques on the bridge over the Mississippi

La Crosse here we come... and note the second tower
"on the Mississippi River...Wisconsin's west coast"

Another shot of the mighty Mississippi with a little bathing beach

Heading down Main Street in La Crosse

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