Current Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
I cheated, I accepted the fact pretty easily. Let me explain. Leaving Michigan gets harder each time I visit, there is certainly something beautiful about the lakes, rolling hills, fresh corn, and family there. My cousin Jim offered to drive me from Ann Arbor up past the Macinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula, I rationalized this offer to stay an extra day at my auntie and uncles house and not be behind in my schedule across the continent. As a good friend asked me, ‘whats more important, peddling or people?’ An easy question for me to answer. I’d list everyone in Michigan that I saw to thank them but then this post would get too long, suffice to say that I appreciated all the food, beer, and conversation with everyone there along with the bike rides and lawn mowings (even if I do break windows.)
Hands down Wisconsin was the nicest state to ride so far this trip. 99% of the ride through the state is done on county roads that are barely trafficked, even on weekends. It’s all rolling hills through the state with forest on both sides of the road for a greater part. I didn’t start seeing cows or farms until the last days ride and only one sign in the entire state for cheese for sale. This isn’t the typical route through Wisconsin. One guy I met said that the average population of Northern Wisconsin was 5 people per square mile. I’m not sure where the defining line of north and south Wisconsin is but I believe it as stretches of Wisconsin were fairly empty.
While I don’t stop at every diner I see, I do treat myself once in a while just to see if I can find the diners of old. I like to find the diners where theres a bunch of old boys bellied up to a table, pancakes are the size of your plate and a no-nonsense waitress serving endless cups of weak coffee. The old boys gab about nothing more important that whats going on in town or the weather. It proves to me that life really can be that simple and trouble free. It’s rare to find these establishments and I’ve only managed to find a few of them, if you stop in Butternut Wisconsin look for Jumbo’s and step into what feels like someones kitchen, it provided enough energy that day to ride forever.
At this point in the ride I’m guessing it’s more or less halfway through the ride, I could say this because I’m crossing the Mississippi or that I have about 22 days of riding left, this is a rough estimate of days left, but I hope pretty close to accurate as any longer and I’ll be riding through snow somewhere above 6000ft. I leave the Adventure Cycling route for a greater portion of the remainder meaning I have no clue where towns, grocery stores, or gas stations are. This gives me a little bit of anxiety because I rely on the latter two for water and food which probably means I’ll stop at every one I see to fill water.