By Ben |

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!

I left the trail at the little town of Norwalk, whose twin mottos are "Gateway to the Tunnels" and "Black Squirrel Capital of the World."  I didn't see any squirrels, but the logos were cute.  I got an early lunch and prepared for the road portion of my ride.

The route I had chosen bypassed the town of La Farge via a local road.  This seemed like a good idea on the map, and it looked that way for the first mile, but then the pavement gave out and I had to climb a long, steep hill on gravel, pushing the bike.  So that wasn't fun at all.  But I still wound up arriving at Dreamtime Village at about 5:00.

I knew that Dreamtime Village is primarily a community of artists, but I wasn't sure what that would mean... it seems to mean that a bunch of individuals do their own thing and cooperate when they get around to it.  I was looking forward to sitting in on the group meeting tonight, but it's been cancelled because one of the key players is out of town.

The building I'm staying in has been very elaborately and artistically painted but not well maintained; a plumber or handyman in the community could really improve the facilities.  But the gardens are lush, the animals are surviving, and they're eking out a living in what was a ghost town.

Total distance: 38.2 miles