Wabasha To Prescott Wisconsin 69 Miles

6/27/19

We started out looking for the route and stumbled into a café for breakfast.  It was a family owned café with a lot of locals dining there.

While waiting for our food we questioned the owner about the highway construction in the area.  The road we were going to take was highway 60.  He assured us that we could bike this highway.

After we finished our meal we began to find our way to highway 60.  Upon reaching it we began to climb the road which was grooved and rough.  After climbing a little over a mile we stopped and Ed sent out a message questioning the decision to take this road.  He got a response that told us to continue on. After about an another mile Ed received a message to abandoned this road. It was much more difficult than first though. So back down the grooved and rough road, hanging on for dear life and riding the breaks.

At the bottom we were directed to take highway 61.  It was much better than highway 60 but there were areas that were under construction.  Because of the reroute all the rest areas were moved.  The route went from 54 miles to 69 miles.

After rest stop 1 we started to climb, and the clouds darkened about 5 miles outside of Red Wing Minnesota. Yes the one and only place where they manufacture Red Wing shoes and boots.  We were headed to the bridge which would take us to Wisconsin.

To prove the point that we were getting wet we took pictures of the Welcome to Wisconsin Sign.

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At this point Ed and I went different routes.  Ed was scheduled to meet some of the people at the Purina Plant in Hager City Wisconsin.  I went on with some of our team members.

I was able to get in early so I took a shower, rinsed some of the rain soaked clothes and put them out to dry.  We actually saw the sun a bit later in the afternoon.

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Brownsville to Wabasha 72 Miles

6/26/19

Breakfast today was at the local service station.  We had breakfast sandwiches, sweet rolls and bananas.  The cashier is a bike riders also but not a mega mile rider.  She we understanding of our need for food.  One interesting thing at the store, which made it clear we were in a small to town, was the sign that said “We Accept Local Checks Only”

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We road adjacent to the Mississippi river which gave us another great photo opt.

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When we took off Ed really took off.  We got ahead of the first rest stop van so we helped set up the station and then left.  We were joined by Melissa just before the first rest stop also.

This was the only rest stop van we saw for the day.  We stayed ahead of all the vans.  We made two short stops, one at Walgreens for sunblock and a restroom break and another stop and at a convenience store to get quick refreshments.  One rider beat us to Wabasha because he took off over and hour before we did.

Once arriving at church in Wabasha we took showers at the local swimming pool which was really close to the church.  This was a great shower unlike the 2 previous swimming pool showers.  This one had hot water and great shower heads.

Then we went downtown to do our laundry.  I went to the local optometrist to get my glasses straightened.  I had bent them over 2 weeks ago but this was my first opportunity to get them fixed.  All the work was done for free.

Now the best of all, I have the opportunity to catch up on my blog.  I appreciate your patience and understanding these last 4 days.  The rides were long and tiring, but the biggest frustration was the lack of internet and phone service.

Elkader to Brownsville MN. 85 miles

6/25/19  

We stopped for breakfast at Johnson’s Café but we had one small problem.  It didn’t open until 7:00 a.m. but we arrived at 6:30 a.m.  We had some miss communication.

When they did open the regulars ordered as they came in and us strangers had to wait until the server came to our table.  Smart business.

The  plates were large and filling.  Then it was on the road and it started out with the first of 3 major climbs and a many other smaller but challenging climbs.  Of course with climbs come some fun descents.  One of these allow me to achieve a max speed of 43 MPH.  My new bike is more stable on the descents than my old bike.   This was fun.

We had a rest stop in New Albin Iowa.  We went into a small café for a mid afternoon meal.  There were locals mainly talking.  One lady asked where Ed and I were from.  One chimed in that her granddaughter had just moved to Texas when I mentioned I was from Houston.

Her granddaughter was just hired on as a ranch hand in south Texas.  I asked her if the ranch might be the King Ranch.  I told her a little about the King Ranch which made her excited to ask her granddaughter.

Shortly after leaving New Albin we crossed into Minnesota.  Since we weren’t on a major highway they didn’t have a real large state sign but it was better than Illinois.

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About 2 miles outside of Brownsville we made two stops.  One was an overlook of the Mississippi River.  On the far side of the river is Wisconsin.

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And the other one was to take pictures of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

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We camped tonight at the local baseball park.  We took our garden hose shower with the propane heater.  Then went to  the local pizza joint.

We had no internet and limited cell phone service.  This can make it kind of depressing.

Oxford Junction IA. To Elkader 93 miles

6/24/19  Another long day 93 Miles plus.

It started out with a breakfast sandwich in the local convenience store.  The owner fixed the breakfast  sandwiches which were good but not all that filling so I had a honey bun also.

We started out the day somewhere at the lead of the pack.  The roads had some minor climbs but the men in the convenience store warned us about some climbs starting about Cascade.  They were right but the climbs were not in the top 10 of the most difficult I have ridden.  They did make the ride more interesting.

One area that I had always wanted to see was the “Field Of Dreams”.  This has always been in my top ten movies about baseball.  We stopped at the field and explored.  There were a fair number of other tourist there also.  Here are some of the picture I took.

We were the last one at rest stop #2 in Dyersville since we spent a lot of time at the field.

By the time we reached rest stop #3 everyone had already left this stop so we just kept on riding.  The weather looked like it could rain at any time and the wind seemed to be in our faces most of the rest of the day.

We made it into Elkader without getting wet but we found out a lot of our team wasn’t so lucky.  One of the most annoying part of the day was the little black gnats.  If the wind went down they would attack us and even get into our mouths so in some ways we wanted the wind.

When we arrived at the church we found food had already arrived so we helped ourselves to a great meal to refresh ourselves.  I am going to make this an early night since 2 – 90 plus mile days are taking their toll.

Orion to Oxford Junction IA 94 mile

6/23/29

Today, being Sunday morning, our breakfast selections were few and far between so we went to Casey’s Convenient store.  I picked up two breakfast sandwiches.  Nothing to write home about.  What a way to start 94 mile ride.

At the start of the day the weather was perfect.  Cool, no rain and a tail wind.  Shame it didn’t last.  Most of the day we had a fairly hard side wind.  When you know you have a long ride wind plays hard on your mind.  Maybe it was just in our mind.  When I looked at the print out of our ride I was surprised how little we rode west, most of the day was riding north.

Today was another milestone day.  We crossed into Iowa.

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The route today was interesting.  Close to the end of the day we came to a corner and we were forced to turn right.  My mind told me we should turn left and when I got the print out  my mind was actually correct.  For a direct route we should have turn left but due to the way the round was designed we had to turn right.

On the route we had to go down a long slope.  During this down hill my chain came off,  I tried everything to get it back on without stopping.  The place I had to stop was at a farm house that had two barking dogs.  They made a lot of noise and the farmer came out of his barn and said they wouldn’t hurt me, they just like to make noise, so I put my chain on and continued down the hill into Lowden.

Once we made it to Oxford Junction we put our bike in the Senior Center.  Then we ate dinner that was supplied by an alumni from another ride.  He went out of his way to serve us.

We also took showers in the volunteer fire station.  They made a make shift area for the shower which worked well. It was warm and clean.

The operator of the Senior Center gave us a history lesson of the town, the area, and the senior center.

None of us had phone service and the only way we could communicate was sit outside the library and connect to their internet.  The connection was not very good and the bugs drove you back inside the Senior Center.

They did have a nice little tourist area called the City Hall.

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