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!
I followed WI 35, which is part of the Great River Road, down the Mississippi for most of the day. Although it carries a lot of traffic, it has nice wide, clean shoulders to ride on. Just past the enormous Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, I entered Perrot State Park near the trailhead of the Great River State Trail. I had to decide whether to stay at the park (even though it wasn't yet 4 PM) or continue down the trail to Onalaska and La Crosse and hope for other campgrounds there.
After talking with a ranger, I decided to stay at the park for a number of reasons: the campground nearest La Crosse is currently cut off by road construction; all the errands I need to run can be done in Onalaska, which is closer to the trail, so that I could do both Great River and La Crosse River trails in one day, saving on trail passes; and an early afternoon meant that I could thoroughly dry out the camping gear for a change.
Perrot State Park is enormous! The campground alone is bigger than a lot of state parks in Minnesota, say, along the north shore of Lake Superior. And like Willow River, it's very well maintained. I'm beginning to like Wisconsin...
Speaking of which, I bought a ripe muskmelon along the roadside this afternoon along with the fourth straight day of sweet corn. Mmmm.
Total distance: 34.87 mi
Perrot State Park, WI