I began the day on the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. There were other ways to go, by road, but I wanted to check out the (former railroad) tunnels along the path. The trail maintains a maximum of 3% grade, so it's much easier going than the roads alongside. There were places where the railroad grade towered at least 200 feet above the landscape on either side!
This morning I left Perrot state park and followed the Great River State Trail into Onalaska, just north of La Crosse. The ranger told me a Target there was my best bet for 1-hour photo developing. I wasn't ready for the experience of re-entering "civilization" (essentially suburbia). It was a nightmare! After getting only half my errands done in over 2 hours I gave up and headed east on the La Crosse River State Trail.
I realized while making camp last night that I wouldn't have enough water for breakfast, so I decided to ride into Alma first thing in the morning and get a hot breakfast. What a luxury!
Finally, a sunny day! I woke up this morning refreshed and pain-free and ready to hit the trail. I stopped at Wal*Mart on my way to the trailhead to get a new camera battery and some pretzels; then I was on my way.
The Red Cedar State Trail is crushed limestone, but it follows the river downstream, so it's easy going. There are very few intersections with roads, so it's extremely quiet.
This morning my left knee still hurt from yesterday's ride, enough that I was tempted to rest a day before continuing on. I paused at the exit of the state park to consider this, but finally I decided that if I was going to rest a day, Menomonie would be a better place to do it. Fortunately my knee stopped hurting after a few miles.
The rain that started last night continued as drizzle all day, but little more than that. It looks like I won't be able to see the Perseids tonight, but I'm just glad the rain wasn't more intense.
- The ship we're all on is sinking. I want to take a look at the lifeboats.
- I want to give seasonal migration a try before the climate changes any more.
- There's a time for putting down roots and a time for spreading wings. I enjoyed putting down roots in Minneapolis, but lately they're coming back up. Time to fly!
- This trip was a good idea when I thought it up in 2001, and everything's pointed me in this direction ever since.
The trip out of the Twin Cities was uneventful but sentimental, since I passed a lot of landmarks I remembered from five years ago when Victoria took me along on her Urban Geography assignment.
Today was very cool -- 50s F -- and cloudy, but thankfully the rain held off all day. I'm expecting rain tonight. I was comfortable in a T-shirt as long as I was moving but got very chilly whenever I stopped.
Hi, folks. Everything's pretty much on schedule for my departure tomorrow morning. The apartment is certainly cleaner (and emptier) than it's been in two years, and it will be emptier still by the time I go to bed tonight...
[originally posted to the Wheeled Migration mailing list on August 2, 2004]
Hello, everyone! This is a test of the mailing list, I suppose, and also an update on my departure plans.
I plan to leave Tuesday morning, August 10, one week from tomorrow. The first day I'll ride from my home in Minneapolis through St. Paul and Stillwater, MN, to a state park just across the St. Croix River in Wisconsin.
presented at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, July 11, 2004
(Good morning! Let me start out by saying that what I'm about to tell you is a work in progress... it's the product of many months of reading many different books and mulling over a wide variety of ideas. Maybe most of it will be old news to you, but I hope you find something new that will help you in your own ponderings.)