TRIP 2013

Update #13 - June 04th
Decorah, Iowa
Mission Trip 34: 2,938.99 miles (4,702.38 KM)
4,288.72 miles (6,861.95 KM) - Year Total

May 28 : Decorah, Iowa to Dubuque, Iowa - 45.52 miles (72.83 KM)

I had a decent night. It was a lot warmer than last night. I woke up around 5 AM. After getting cleaned up and dressed, I took everything out to the garage and packed up Alice before having breakfast. It had rained some during the night and the sky was overcast. There was a light drizzle but I didn't think that it would last long, Pastor Fique and Michelle got up around 7:30 AM. I saw Michelle off to work and then I got ready to head out before 8 AM. Pastor Figue gave me $20 from the church. Before I headed out, I had Pastor Figue take some pictures. These were taken to fulfill the photo oblication for the Jews For Jesus
Issues Magazine . There is supposed to be an article in the August edition about my testimony and ministry.

It was around 7:50 AM when I headed out. It wasn't drizzling at this time but it looked like it could rain again. I walked over the causeway from the island and up the first hill on the mainland. It was a roller coaster ride to Bellevue. There were some hills that I had to walk up when the grade got over six percent. I got into Bellevue, Iowa a little before noon. It started to lightly rain so I took an extended break at a gas station.

The afternoon ride to Dubuque went okay but there were some more long hills to climb up and coast down. A couple of the hills were a couple of miles long. The sky became real dark but it didn't rain. I got to the outskirts of Dubuque around 4 PM. I hit a detour getting to the motel where I had stopped at last year. I got a room in the mid $30s.

I've got a 2 mile (3.2 KM) coast down into downtown Dubuque tomorrow morning so that I can cross the Mississippi River again to get into Wisconsin. I'll be stopping in Prairie du Chen, Wisconsin tomorrow night. There might be some more rain tomorrow.

May 29 : Dubuque, Iowa to Lancaster, Wisconsin - 40.12 miles (72.83 KM)

I had a decent night. It was good to be in a clean room and have heat that I could control. I went to bed around 10 PM and I woke up around 5 AM. Before getting on the road, I checked out my mapping software to find an alternative route down the hill into downtown Dubuque.

I got on the road around 7:50 AM. It was already warm enough so I took off my jacket. The ride down the hill went well. I stopped at a grocery store to buy a pint of milk. Before getting on the walkway across the Mississippi River Bridge for US 20, I rode around the downtown area to take a few pictures. I wanted to take some pictures of the
Fenelon Place Elevator which is a funicular railway up a hill. There were two cable cars.

The walk across the US 20 Mississippi River Bridge went okay to East Dubuque, Illinois. This was my second time across the Mississippi River this year. I was able to ride down about halfway to East Dubuque. After taking a short break at a gas station, I got on IL 35 for the short ride to the Wisconsin State Line. The ride to Dickeyville, Wisconsin went okay. There was a really long coast and a long climb up a hill between Dickeyville and Polosi. On the way up the hill, I stopped to wave at a small convoy of army vehicles. Several of the soldiers hocked their horns as I waved.

The ride to Lancaster went okay. Along the way, I was listening to the NPR station out of Dubuque. There were a lot of reports from the National Weather Service telling about very strong thunderstorms that were quickly making their way across Iowa. Even though it was just around 3 PM, I decided to stop for the day. I went around to the churches to see if I could locote a minister. I was finally able to connect with Rev. David Froemming of Christ ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America). He offered me the use of the fellowship hall for the night. Before the storm came, he offered to take me to a local A&W and get me a meal.

There is supposed to be more storms tomorrow. I'm still going to try and get to Prairie du Chien tomorrow. This would put me in Lansing, Iowa and Decorah on Sunday afternoon.

May 30 : Lancaster, Wisconsin to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin : 43.33 miles (69.33 KM)

I had a decent night. About an hour before dark, the sky got really dark and it rained really hard. I was worried that I was going to have to get into the safe room but I didn't have to. After dark, it lightninged some in the south. I put my bedroll down on the floor. There wasn't any blinds or curtains in the windows except for some window dressing at the top.

I went to bed around 10:30 PM and I woke up a little before 5 AM. It was clear when the sun came up. I was going to wait for the pastor to show up but I wanted to get to Prairie du Chien before there were any storms. I got on the road around 6:30 AM. Before heading out of town, I stopped to get some milk. I was going to follow WI 35 but I decided to head north to Fennimore. The ride north went okay. I got into Fennimore around 8 AM. I turned West on US 18. I got the first 20 miles (32 KM) in by 9:45 AM. There were some hills but I was able to ride up almost all of them. The tailwind turned into a crosswind.

I was almost at 40 miles (64 KM) when I got to the turn off to Patch Grove. The sky was getting dark but I thought that I would go on. There was a three mile (5 KM) coast that I got down carefully because the roadway was pretty cracked in the area. There was about a four mile (6 KM) ride that was somewhat downhill to the Wylaming River. There was some flooding on the North side of the bridge. Right after the bridge, I met up with a couple of cycle-tourists from Madison, Wisconsin. They were making a loop around the state.

The short climb up to Bridgeport went okay. I made 41 miles (65.5 KM) by noon time. I rode into Prairie du Chien. I was going to stop for lunch and then ride into the downtown area to see if I could connect with a minister but I decided to go ahead and get a room at a motel that I've stayed at before. There is a good chance for more thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

May 31 : Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin to Lansing, Iowa - 36.24 miles (57.98 KM)

I had a decent night. About 6 PM, it started to rain for about 40 minutes with about 20 minutes of it coming really hard. I left the motel around 7:20 AM. The ride North on MN 35 went okay but I had to stop a couple of times to check out a strange sound that I was coming from the back of the recumbent. At a wayside, I took everything off the rear rack and I found out that one of the bolts that held the rack to the recumbent had sheared off. I was able to get the old bolt off and the threads seemed to be okay. I struggled for about 20 minutes trying to get the rack fastened when a local guy stopped and gave me a hand. It was a three person job.

I got into Ferryville a little before noon. I had ridden 25 miles (40 KM) before noon. I stopped at a gas station before lunch. After lunch it was a short ride to the bridge over the Mississippi River into Lansing, Iowa. This was the third time crossing the Mississippi River. They were getting ready to sandblast the bridge so that it could be repainted. I had to walk across the bridge because of it's mesh flooring.

After a short break at a gas station in Lansing, I rode over to the nursing home outside of town to visit with my friend who was in there because she had broken her leg a month ago and a plate and 12 screws had to be implanted. She would be there about four more weeks before she could go home. I spent about two and a half hours there.

I rode back into town to the Methodist Church. They were finishing up their vacation bible school and they were having a potluck. I helped set up the fellowship hall. During the potluck, I was surprised that not too many people who asked who I was. Afterwards, I helped take everything down. Staying in the youth area downstairs for the night.

June 01 : Lansing, Iowa to Decorah, Iowa - 35.84 miles (57.34 KM)

I had a decent night even though I was a little concerned about my safety. The pastor told me that they kept the main doors unlocked. The office was kept locked and I was told where the key was. I just got what I needed for the night off of Alice and I left everything else locked up. There were some couches downstairs to sleep on and the church had wi-fi. I got maybe six or seven hours of sleep.

I left the church around 7 AM. Before leaving town, I stopped for some milk. The ride West on US 9 went okay. I was able to stay on Alice for about 3/4 of the way up the hill out of the Mississippi River Valley to Churchtown. The grade for about the last mile was steeper. Most of the way, I didn't get below 4.5 mph (7.2 Kmph). Once on top of the plateau, I had to deal with a cross/headwind of about 15 miles per hour (24 kmph) and some really bad roads that were really cracked up. I still was able to make it to the top of the plateau in a little over an hour.

The rest of the way in Waukon went okay. I got into Waukon around 11:00 AM. I stopped for something quick to eat at a gas station. By noon, I was able to make 25 miles (40 KM). Once I got passed Waukon and into Winneshiak County, the roadway became much improved with a small paved shoulder to ride along. I got to my friend's house around 1:30 PM. They had given me instructions on how to get into the house because they had taken their daughter up to Rochester, Minnesota for her one year nursing training at the Mayo Clinic. I will possibly get on the road Tuesday morning weather permitting.

June 04 : Decorah, Iowa to Decorah, Iowa - 00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

Today, I was going to head out again but all of the weather reports that I saw showed that there were going to be storms today. There were possibly going to be thunderstorms today. I didn't want to take any chances so I opted to stay over an extra day. Several weeks ago, I got caught out in the open in a pretty intense storm West of Salem, Illinois and I didn't want to get caught in another one.

It was a good two days off with friends. Sunday morning, I got to speak during the beginning of the service at
Decorah Lutheran (Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America). This was the 26th church/ ministry that I've been able to speak at this year. I'm tied with the total of churches/ ministries that I spoke at last year.

This afternoon, I'm supposed to be interviewed by one of the editors of the local newspaper
The Decorah Newspapers . There might be more storms this evening that might last through the morning. I might have a late start but I will head out Northward to Minnesota. I plan to try and visit with some friends in one of the suburbs of Minneapolis and then travel to Isanti to visit with another cycling missionary Hans Erdman "The Two-wheeled Explorer . Hans Erdman does missionary bike tours through the Native American Reservations in the Dakotas.

From Isanti, I'll be traveling North-Eastwards through Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My 57th birthday is on June 15th and I'll possibly be riding in Wisconsin or Michigan. Once across the Mackinac Bridge, I will be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan to check out another bicycle ministry called
The Motion Initiative . This is a ministry of the United In Chr-st Ministries of Grand Rapids,

From Grand Rapids, I will be traveling South to Northwest Ohio to where I was an high school exchange student for the 1973-1974 school year. From Northwest Ohio, I will be sort of backtracking the route that I took from Chittenango, New York to Chittenango. After a short break again in Chittenango, I will possibly riding up the St. Lawrence Seaway and then ride through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between June 11th and June 18th..



Bicyclist in Sunset



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