Day 22: Wabasha, MN – Wilton, WI
Distance: 111 miles
Vertical: 994 feet
It’s incredible to me that over the course of this trip, all the sights that we have seen have all been from the same country. From the mountains of Washington, Idaho and Western Montana, to the plains of Eastern Montana and North Dakota, to the lakes of Minnesota and now we arrive in the rolling forests of Wisconsin. Today’s ride was anything, but ordinary. Although the first 30 miles were hell on earth to me, severe headwinds and absurd humidity/heat the day before will do that, the rest of the ride was pretty incredible. After the first 30 miles Josh and I diverged from the roads and began down the Great River Trail, a compact dirt road that runs through the Mississippi marsh lands. For the first time of the trip I’m happy to say I saw more actual living wildlife than ones on the side of the highways. It was nice to see that not all of our country’s animals are those that decide to see how far they can make it across an interstate.
By the half way point, near Onalaska, Josh and I road off the trail and began heading towards Matt, who was waiting in a McDonalds in town, for a much needed rest stop. Google Maps had other plans. Instead of taking us to Matt it decided we wanted a tour of the entire town. First it thought that the McDonalds was in the middle of some train tracks, next in the middle of a construction yard and last, but not least, in the middle of a neighborhood, because can you really call a place home without a McDonalds within walking distance? After much too long we finally found Matt and it was at this point that I began to suspect that Josh might be trying to sabotage this trip. First of all he crashed into me a few days earlier, turning me into a momentary acrobat summersaulting over my handlebars (which was probably quite the sight), then in the parking lot of the McDonalds he left the car door wide open… suspicious? I think so…
Anyways, after leaving McDonalds Josh and I trekked on in the wilderness of Wisconsin into probably the coolest part of any of our rides to date. We first arrived in Sparta, WI, the bicycling capital of America (pretty neat huh??!!), which I have to say is a little bit better than the mosquito capital of the world. After this we arrived at some of the coolest tunnels I have ever seen. These old railway tunnels were completed in 1875 (I think) and the first was just under a mile long, pitch black, wet and honestly pretty terrifying, but still very cool. Before reaching the second of these tunnels we met up with Matt who had decided to check out the trail and while doing so had ended up with a flat tire, classic Matt. We then finished our ride in Wilton and packed up our bikes for the day.
Oh, and one more thing, now in Matt’s last blog post he tried saying that I fell while stopped at a stoplight to my left. Now, let me get the story straight… I definitely unclipped my LEFT leg and because I was so exhausted and brain dead thought I had unclipped my RIGHT leg and thus fell to my right. Only an idiot would fall to their left, way to make me seem stupid Matt…
Until my next low speed, near fatal crash,