Day 55: La Crosse to Sparta - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

July 25, 2021

Day 55: La Crosse to Sparta

A short day on another Trail

“You’re a bit heavier than us,” one of the women says and then asks about our trip. “Where are you from?” Rachel asks and when they say Illinois, Rachel says: “Me too.” We have been taking a food break at the trail shelter in West Salem when a Bike Rental van arrives. Out came 6 people and started unloading bikes from the trailer, they are riding back to Sparta.

We were no hurry this morning since it’s a short day and got on the road about 9am. We thank John and JoLynn for their hospitality and make our way on bike paths to the La Crosse Trail. The start of trail goes through a Wildlife Conservancy area and then three Whistlestop towns: West Salem, Bangor and Rockland.  The trail is bordered by farmland and prairie.

While resting at West Salem, we first meet John, a Vietnam Vet who is riding the trail bare chested at 70 years old. A little later the Bike Rental Van pulls into the rest area with 6 people from Illinois. We chat a bit and then we ride on. The trail is more open with fewer tree canopies, but today the temperature and humidity is not as bad. After Bangor, the landscape is prairie. In the distance on both side of the trail are the ridges left unscathed by the Ice Age that is known as the Driftless Area.

Sooner than expected we arrive at the old Train Station that serves as a visitor information center at the junction of the La Crosse Trail with the Elroy-Sparta Trail that we will ride tomorrow.

We are very close to the “Best Night Inn” motel and we check in when we arrive at noon. After a shower and watching a bit of the Olympics, we walk about 5 blocks to a Subway for lunch and across the street shop for supplies at the IGA. The afternoon is spent watching more Olympic games and just enjoying being in a cool environment.

We plan the next week of our ride, first three more days to Madison, then three or four days north towards the ferry at Manitowoc.

We say goodbye to John and JoLynn
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Bike path out of town
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John, Vietnam Vet
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Group from Illinois
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Joanna HanselmannIt was such a pleasure meeting you both! We will continue to watch your progress and pray for your health and safety!
Joanna, Sleepy Hollow,IL
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Rachel and Patrick HugensThanks, great hearing from you! This was a fun day meeting people. Keep in touch
Racpat
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The ridges of the Driftless area
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All the street signs have the Pennyfarthing...tomorrow we'll see the Ben Bikin' statue as we leave town
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Today's ride: 26 miles (42 km)
Total: 2,283 miles (3,674 km)

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Janet OBrienThis is my neck of the woods! I grew up in Tomah, went to college in LaCrosse, my sister and niece and family live in West Salem. Grand Dads bluff and the Bodega- all great places! I do miss it!!
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1 month ago