Great Country Roads and a Ferry Ride
Ferry Closed Sign . Only 9:00am – noon
Day 8 – June 29, 2015
Spring Green to Portage – 62 miles
Weather – partly cloudy, 75 degrees, tailwind for part of the day then headwind – storms in the area but none where we were
Started our day at the campground at Spring Green- everything was pretty wet after the storms that came through the night before. Also the mosquitoes were terrible and were eating Tracy to death. We finally had to take our bike and all our gear to a shelter and finish packing – Tracy could not take it anymore!!
We finished packing up and eating breakfast and then headed out for the day. We did not start the stove so decided to stop in town for a cup of coffer and tea. While seating in the gas station five cyclists from the quad cities came in. They were staying in the area and taking day trip loops on their bicycles. They said they just loved the area and the roads were great – we could not agree with them more.
On we go to tour the Spring Green Preserve where the only cactus native to Wisconsin grows. The Preserve is located just north of Spring Green and is worth a stop. Very interesting and I am sure a great view from the top of the Preserve, we did not hike to the top but heard from a local it is worth the hike.
We then headed over to Hwy 14 to cross the Wisconsin River again because we were going to travel on the south side of the river today to Arena, Mazomanie and on to the Merrimac Ferry. We stopped in Mazomanie at a new café – the Base Camp Café, for a snack and to make a phone call to Cassandra Duvall from NBC26 Wisconsin Tonight for a phone interview to air that evening.
We then took off towards Merrimac to take the ferry across, we finally got there and there was an electronic sign saying the ferry was closed for maintenance – oh crap!! It would be an extra 20- 30 miles to get across the river to Portage. But then the sign flashed to the next message which said from 9:00am – noon – it was 1:30pm we were in business – thank goodness. So on the ferry we went for our very short journey across – it seemed like we just got on and were already to the other side. Did you know the ferry actually travels along a set of cables in the water? Well it does.
After exiting the ferry we headed towards Portage on Hwy U – a great ride little or no traffic and great views of the river and rolling farmland. Although there were many tough to moderate climbs – I guess that comes with the great views. At one point Tracy said this has to be the top there is a cell tower up here and I don’t think we can go much higher. But around the corner we climbed again. Tracy also pointed out we had to get back down to river to cross into Portage and we better start dropping soon or it will be straight down!! Finally we had a gradual drop to Hwy 33 to cross the river into Portage.
This time thru Portage we got to check out the downtown area more – they have a beautiful downtown but it had lots of traffic because we were going thru during afternoon rush hour. We made it to our hotel and had time to do a load of laundry and relax a bit before our long day tomorrow when head to Fond du Lac.