Back Into Wisconsin
September 22, 2015 – Day 19
Minneapolis, MN – Pepin, WI. 94 miles Total miles 1,173
Weather 70 degrees, rainy, cloudy and head wind
Our day started at the University of Minnesota campus and a visit to the Fix It Station to top off our tires before we headed out for the day. Unfortunately the pump at the station was not working and instead of putting air in our front tire it let all the air out- so Peter had to pump up the tire with his hand pump and then we went to another Fix It Station on campus to finishing filling the tire. So an hour later we were finally on our way in the rain.
The ride out of the cities is always a tough one because the route takes you on several of the numerous trails, which sometimes are very narrow and sometimes hard to find. But we finally made it through the cities a couple of hours later than we planned on and still had about 50 miles to go to our end point for the day. We traveled down to Hastings MN and then crossed over to Prescott, WI ate lunch and began heading south along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.
We did this ride a few years ago when we were bicycling cross the country and enjoyed the route so we decided to travel on the east side of the river again. We traveled thru the small towns of Bay City, Maiden Rock, Stockholm and finally ended in Pepin. We had a long day and did not get into Pepin until 6:30pm. The towns are very nice and fun to visit but unfortunately by the time we went thru some of them everything was all closed up for the night. Stockholm is a really cool city with lots of small shops and places to eat but everything was closed by the time we came thru.
After a long day we checked in to the Great River Amish Inn for the night and headed down the road to the Garden Café for dinner. Very good food and a really fun restaurant.
September 23, 2015 – Day 20
Pepin, WI – LaCrosse, WI. 79 miles. Total miles 1,252
Weather 76 degrees, sunny, slight headwind
Today was a shorter day and the weather was much nicer. Although we had a slight head and cross wind to deal with. The first town we came to was Alma. Alma is the home of Lock and Dam No. 4 and has a very good restaurant – Pier 4 Café and Smokehouse. It is very funny they have a sign on the restaurant that says The Best BBQ by a Dam Site. We have yet to be able to eat here – it is either closed or we just ate. But this time on our way past we ran into Richard the fellow bicyclist who we met at the Hostel in Itasca State Park, we talked a bit and continued on our way, He was having a good ride and heading to Perot State Park for the night – we were heading to La Crosse, hopefully we will cross paths again.
The ride continued on Hwy 35 the Great River Road – if you have not traveled this area or on this road we recommend it – it is a great way to get up close to the Mississippi and there are fun little towns to stop and hang out in along the way. When we reached Onalaska we traveled to Lacrosse on the Three Rivers trail which dropped us at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Tracy went to school at UW LaCrosse and enjoyed biking thru campus. We even got an escort to our home for the night – our daughter Melissa’s boyfriend Dillon met us at the University and led us to his house – very nice and no stress for us trying to figure out how to get there – yeah!!
Dillon and A.J. (Dillon’s roommate) were gracious hosts for the night and both were home to go out to dinner with us and even stopped at the grocery store for us to pick up a few things. It was a nice relaxing evening.