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.
I made loud noises while I put fresh batteries in my flashlight, and by the time I stepped outside with the light, the only eyes that shone back at me were those of a raccoon quite far away. I was glad that my sleeping bag, which hasn't been washed since October, leaves no doubt as to what sort of animal I am. All the same, I didn't sleep well the rest of the night!
I rode down the Old Abe State Trail, which unlike most Wisconsin trails is paved, to Chippewa Falls. The bike trail took me right past the Leinenkugel's brewery, but I skipped the tour. I had lunch and ice cream in town before hitting the hot country roads to Menomonie.
I stayed in Menomonie on August 11, my second night on the road, and wrote that I felt "gyped" to pay $15 for a campsite. It's a good thing I didn't make it to the campground farther down the road as I had planned, because this one is $18 plus coin-op showers... I would have thrown a fit. But now I'm used to such variation in prices.
This is my last night of camping! What a strange feeling!