Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 36 - Part 1

Today is virtually a rest day.  We bike a few miles to the ferry across Lake Michigan and then when we arrive in Ludington. Then we bike a couple of miles to the hotel.  A few comments.

Wisconsin was a great ride.  We caught a break with the weather as one day our ride was the only area in WI which was not getting hit by severe weather.  Wisconsin is a great bicycling state.  Part of it is all the paved farm (dairy) roads throughout the state.  Part is WI was an early developer of the rails to trails bike trails which helped develop a bicycling culture.  Part is WI is an outdoor state where residents and visitors enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities.  It is also is a very beautiful state and the ride through was especially scenic.  One of the riders said Wisconsin is the state Illinois always wanted to be, but could not.  Not sure if that is true, but it is a great state. 

Minnesota was beautiful as always.  Riding through farm country in the prime of the growing season was to me very impressive.  To often when we eat, we forget a farmers everywhere are working hard to grow the food we eventually consume.

Since our last rest day in Sioux Falls we rode accross MN and WI in 7 days.  Though hot in MN, we did not run into any major storms and caught a tailwind many days.  For me it was a especially wonderful leg because of the people who came to visit me.  It started with Dot and Ken in Sioux Falls who drove from Fargo to see me and take me wherever I wanted to go.  Then, Charlie and the Barb and the banner going into Rochester.  That is not only a tour highlight, but will be a lifetime highlight for me.  That was followed by Morgan and Christi coming to Rochester.  One of the riders asked Morgan if he brought his guitar, Morgan said no, just wanted to hang with his dad.  Very cool and special.  Then going out for supper with my friends at Harbour.   That was a long day and knowing that great food and more important being with great friends really gave me incentive.  Finally, Kelly and Kevin surprising me in Fond du Lac.  They drove a lot of miles to be with me and it was very special.  It is very easy in life to forget that you are important to other people.  This leg helped me remember that.  Thank you everyone and all the rest that have sent me good wishes.

We lose an hour when we arrive in Michigan.  Riders have been asking me if I will be torked again.  I said yes, I do not mind losing an hour when I drive or fly, but on a bike tour it really bites, especially when we have 113 miles the following day.

Time to pack and go find the ferry.  I have four hours to get there.  Hopefully, it will be enought.

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