To Roberts, WI

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 16:13

All night I listened to the howling of the Interstate, wondering how I lived with that banshee in my backyard for four years!  It was much more noticeable after two quiet nights.

I hit the road very early, hoping to avoid the heat of the day, which was forecast to be in the mid-90s F.  I followed Route 12 west from Menomonie -- a road I had avoided on the way out because it's a US highway, but now that I read the maps better I knew it was low-traffic, and it was quite a nice ride.

To Menomonie again

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 06/22/2005 - 16:11

There was a lot of rustling in the leaves last night, most of it raccoons.  I had brought my food into my tent because this didn't seem like a place where the raccoons would be tame, and they weren't, but then I heard the unmistakable roar of a bear not far away!  It seemed to be angry at the raccoons, if I may make such a judgment from the swatting and chattering that followed.

To Cornell, WI

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 16:09

The campground was eerily silent last night -- no crickets or frogs singing; not a single sound except for the occasional rustle of some animal going about its business.

Today was a much better traveling day, and I made great time into Gilman, where I stopped for lunch and a quick e-mail check.  Then I rode west and reached Cornell around 3.  Cornell was founded by the same man who founded Cornell University but had its boom as a transfer point for pulp wood.  Now the railroad line has been turned into a bike trail, which I'll ride tomorrow.  I camped at Brunet Island State Park.

To Eastwood campground, Chequamegon

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 16:06

Today was not nearly as much fun as recent days have been.  It was hot and humid, and there was no shade to be had on the road I was riding.  Before that started, though, I stopped for groceries in Tomahawk and met a man in a wheelchair who's done some touring both in a racing chair and a hand-cranked trike.

To Haefford Junction, WI

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 15:59

Forests gave way to tree farms as I rode into Woodruff this morning.  Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has its own building -- which they paid off after 7 years and are planning to double in size -- and a congregation of about 60, but they only have services alternate weeks.  This being an off week, we watched a video and discussed it.

To Woodruff (Big St. Germain Lake)

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 14:39

I had a short day today, getting myself in position to go to church tomorrow morning.  I rode into the town of Eagle River and had a leisurely breakfast and bought groceries, then continued down the road.

Father's Day weekend is a popular time to go camping, as I learned last night, but I was able to get a sweet beachside spot at a private campground on Big St. Germain Lake.  I had my tent up by 2:00 and rented a transparent-bottomed kayak, which would have been a lot more interesting had there been more to see under the water, but I had fun anyway!

June 18: Da U.P. and northern Wisconsin

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 09:43

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on June 18, 2005]

I strained my right Achilles tendon just before I wrote you last time, so I made an effort to cut down on my daily miles. I decided to forego the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's annual Sustainability Fair this weekend (you may recall I visited their location in the second week of my trip and nothing was going on at that time) because I'd have to ride fast and hard for six days... besides, it happens every year. My joints are feeling much better now.

To Kentuck Lake, Chequamegon Nicolet NF, WI

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 17:24

I slept all right with earplugs in last night, but I felt rotten in the morning and really didn't want to get back on the highway.  I stopped in Florence, WI to use the Internet and supplement my breakfast... just after that I left the highway behind and immediately felt 100% better.  The coffee may have helped.

There's a joke that small towns in Wisconsin (and other states, I suppose) consist of just a church and a bar, and the church is optional.  Well, the town of Spread Eagle, WI, has six bars and no churches, and half the bars feature dancers.

To Iron Mountain, MI

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 06/16/2005 - 17:20

Today was cooler and very breezy, but I still made over 50 miles.  I crossed back into Central time, so now dawn will come at 4:30 AM... joy.

I stopped at the county campground near Iron Mountain, hoping for some peace and quiet away from the highway -- last night I needed earplugs to keep the noise out.  But this campground is full of families who want to play their radios for some reason.  After weeks of highway riding, I'm so sick of the radio I want to throw it in the lake, but earplugs work for that, too.