Day 52: Downing to Alma - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 22, 2021

Day 52: Downing to Alma

Two more rail to trails

“Here let me buy the tent site, I’m worth 14 million because I got injured in the army,” says the man who heard our conversation about the cost of $40 for a tent site. The gal checking people in had come out to change a request the man had made, and he pays her $40. We thank him, and tell him we will pay it forward.

We said our good byes to Jodie and Kurt last night because as usual we plan on an early start. There is an open air pit toilet hidden behind a roll of fencing covered with cloth in the field outside the cabin. We are on the road before six. It is cool, but very humid with dark clouds and a foggy haze.

Jody recommended following country road K to Highway 12 which we follow all the way into Menomonie. The main reason for this is a McDonalds restaurant where we take a second breakfast. We have to eat in the parking lot though as the dine-in doesn’t open until 8am.

We catch the bike path Lake loop road to the Junction trail that takes us to Red Cedar Trail. This is a very nice trail following the Red Cedar River for 15 miles downstream where it connects to the Chippewa River Trail. There are several large trestle bridges. We meet some local cyclists from Menomonie who are proud of the bike path. We cycle the last 7 miles into Durand and stop at grocery store for drinks and then take a food break by the river.

Then Joy Ride turns to Nightmare.

We are heading south into a headwind making even the smallest hill into a struggle. The trees that were protecting us along the trail are gone. We see another loaded touring bike coming toward us, and he crosses over and stops to talk. This is Phil, heading west, the first tourist we’ve seen since parting with Robert in ND. "I did the Elroy-Sparta trail yesterday, believe the detours. I tried going through one but the bridge was out." he says. We reach Nelson and stop at a gas station for a cold drink and we see another touring cyclist, John who is also heading east. He has already done 40 miles from Minneapolis and plans to do 40 more. As we cycle out of town, we see another cyclist coming toward us who just waves and keeps going.

It is hot and muggy. Rachel is not doing well with the hills and the wicked headwind. Patrick is not doing well with the heat and humidity. It's a 4-H ride. We are changing our minds about camping at the Great Harbor Marina past Alma and look to stay in a motel. Except, Alma doesn’t have anything that is not touristy, the next town Cochrane doesn’t have anything, and we would need to cycle another 15 miles to maybe a motel in Fountain City.

We ride into the Marina and ask about tent camping. The place looks to be more of a permanent spot for RV campers. For a site they want $40, no difference between an RV or small tent. This is too much for Patrick and we discuss moving on. As we are standing in the parking lot with rain threatening, a man starts talking with us. He is a disabled veteran and says the Army just gave him 14 million dollars. He first offers to drive us to the next town that has a motel, then gives $40 to the campground owner for a tent site. We feel bad about taking his money, but even though we could afford it we don’t want to overpay for a bad tent site.

For this money we get a pretty poor spot by the lake harbor. There is no free Wi-Fi, that would be extra, but the showers helps make the day end better.

The Bar and Grill opens at 5pm. We go and sit in the air conditioning then order burgers and fries along with local employee owned Spotted Cow beer by the New Glarus Brewing CO.

The bartender then tells us of the drawing at7pm, Green Bay Packers fundraiser drawing. Gilbert Brown Foundation for $1800 win, we buy 6 tickets for $5…not sure it would go over very well if “outsiders” would win. We hang out until the drawing….no worries about getting out of here alive. There isn’t just one ticket win, the raffle keeps going, and we win more raffle tickets for a golf cart for a drawing at the WACO Fall Workshop October 10th. At the end of the drawing the announcement is $100 is raised for the Gilbert Brown foundation.

We will be at a warmshowers host in LaCrosse tomorrow night and a much needed planned rest day.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltWell, it is family Asteraceae... I think maybe genus Coreopsis, but not sure. Seems to be about 70 yellow many-petal flowers in that area!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coreopsis
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
The trestle bridge at the end of the Red Cedar Trail and joins the Chippewa River Trail into Durand
Heart 0 Comment 0
Phil, heading West
Heart 0 Comment 1
Mike AylingShiny new Ortliebs!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Heart 0 Comment 0
John, heading east
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
The gentleman who paid for the tent site
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

 

Today's ride: 68 miles (109 km)
Total: 2,203 miles (3,545 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0