A cool, misty 55 degrees at the starting point of Elroy. Hopped on the ‘400’ trail for 22 miles to the town of Reedsburg. The ‘400’ state trail is named after the former Chicago-to-Minneapolis passenger train that ran this rail line, boasting a 400 mile trip in 400 minutes, at times hiting 100 mph. Today, it’s a 90 minute flight. The 400 marked the last leg of the ‘Wisconsin 101’ – 4 interconnected trails running 101 miles from Marshland to Reedsburg. Whew! Some wildlife spotted on the State Trails included: Bunnies, Birds, Butterflies, Bald Eagles, Brown Deer, Black Squirrels (maybe more greyish, but fits the ‘B’ theme), Bugs, and a Badger. Plus chipmunks. All alive! (as opposed to roadkill animals found on vehicle roads). Stopped briefly at a homemade water stop, courtesy of what long-distance trail riders like to call a ‘Trail Angel’.
The 400 trail had a few spur trails, including this one to Hillsboro. I thought about stopping in at Beezers, but it was a bit too early for a cocktail. These state trails would also be beautiful in winter for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.
Having run out of trails, I had to hop on some county farm roads to make my way southward towards Madison. Wisconsin county roads are lettered rather than numbered… at least in these parts:
Very little traffic on these winding, windy and surprisingly hilly farm roads. And a bit of humor:
A brief rain storm in Sauk City. Thankfully I sheltered at a nice park alongside the Wisconsin River, when along came another trail angel – Jackie delivering lunch! Just the ticket for the remaining 30 miles into a headwind. Back on the trail towards the town of Springfield, when a nice looking bench offered a brief respite:
Then into the sprawling town of Madison, and some popular tails along Lake Mendota. A pleasant 72 degrees on arrival, just a bit windy is all. We’ve got a beautiful view right outside the window as I write this.
Tomorrow will be the final leg of this year’s tour. Seems like we just started!