A brisk 55 degrees at departure time today, with a cool breeze out of the Northwest. Received some helpful directions from a local rider who happened to be riding around town – “if you can keep up with an old lady, I’ll show you the best way to the state bridge” – well, I could keep up with her speed wise, but she lapped me several times when it came to talking. After hearing about all the nearby trails, why she lives in Red Wing (closer to grandkids), and how her husband sleeps in while she rides in the morning – I made it to the bridge with one parting piece of advice: “Minnesota drivers will slow down for you, Wisconsin drivers won’t”. I’d put her adage to the test after crossing over the Mississippi and into Wisconsin.
Cruising down Wisconsin’s Great River Road, the morning scenery was stunning. William Cullen Bryant boasted the area “ought to be visited in the summer by every poet and painter in the land”. Hard to argue with that. An early stop at the small town of Maiden Rock introduced us to a wide berth of the Mississippi called Lake Pepin, formed by the Chippewa River dumping sediment into the river and forming a natural dam.
Jackie took the opportunity to break out the paddle board and ride the Great River.
Winds picked up as the day wore on, about 15mph NW, which equated to a fabulous tail wind into the picturesque riverside town of Trempealeau and the quaint Little Bluff Inn – our stay for the evening.
80 miles total today, averaging a swift 17.4 mph. Oh, and as forewarned, Wisconsin drivers on the road today did not slow down much – but with a nice wide shoulder, smooth roads, few cars, and a glorious tailwind, I was having too much fun to really notice.
Tomorrow will be a totally car-free ride on State Trails for about 72 miles to the tiny hamlet of Elroy. Bye for now.