TRIP 2013

Update #14 - June 14th
Escanaba, Michigan
Mission Trip 34: 3,551.09 miles (5,681.74 KM)
4,900.82 miles (7,841.31 KM) - Year Total

June 05 : Decorah, Iowa to Chatfield, Minnesota - 61.35 miles (98.16 KM)

I had a decent night except that I was cold. This was the first night I had to sleep under a blanket but I didn't sleep between any sheets. Whatever bugs (fleas) that had bit me the first couple of nights were gone. I didn't let either of the two cats (Disney or Taz) get into the room. Disney is 13 and is a house cat but they let Taz outside once in a while. I did wake up around 2:30 AM to go to the restroom but I was able to fall asleep till around 5 AM. I had a weird dream involving a crazy Amish lady who was trying to take the tires off my bike.

After getting cleaned up and dressed, I finished packing up Alice and then I had a light breakfast. Dave didn't get up till around 7:30 AM. I left around 7:45 AM. There was just a light drizzling mist. At least it wasn't raining anymore even though the weather report said at least a 50% chance. I made it down the hill okay because there was some paved shoulder to use. After stopping for something else to eat and to go to the restroom, I got on the bike trail into town.

Once passed the fairgrounds, I got on the main road through the downtown area. Stopped to take some pictures of some interesting things. I got on College Drive and rode passed Luther College. Somebody told me that if I would stay on College Drive I would bypass a very steep hill to US 52 going north. The grade on College Drive was gradual and I made the 3.5 mile (5.6 KM) climb to the top of the plateau without stopping. The ride on US 52 went okay because there was some shoulder. I rode passed Burr Oak but I didn't go into the town to check out the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. From Dave's house, it was about a 21 mile (33.6 KM) ride to the Minnesota State Line.

In Minnesota, there was a shoulder to ride along but it was pretty well broken up. There are quite a few Amish in the area so I had to avoid horse patties. There were a few Amish around in their buggies. I had one buggy come up from behind me and I had to pull off to avoid spooking the horse. I rode through the town of Harmony. I stopped at a gas station for a late lunch. It was good that I finally got a cell phone signal. There was supposed to be a paved bike path between Harmony and Preston but I didn't take it. I decided to stay on the road. This was a good choice because the distance via the bike trail would have been a couple of miles longer.

I got into Preston around 3:00 PM. I rode around town to check out the churches but I didn't see any around them. After a short break at another gas station, I headed out to Chatfield. There were several long climbs to go up but I was able to ride all of them. There was a light rain but I didn't get too wet.
,br /> I got into Chatfield around 6 PM. I am a little upset that one of the new water bottle pockets that I had sewn on the below seat panniers had come loose and one of the water bottles had fallen out. After another gas station break, I rode around town to check out the churches. I found some activity at Chatfield Evangelical Lutheran Church. The pastor was doing something with the sr youth downstairs. He came out to talk to me. They had a prayer labrynth that they were walking in the basement fellowship hall. I got permission to stay in the church for the night. There is a sofa that I can sleep on. The pastor invited me to go down to speak to the youth and they prayed over me. This was the 27th church for the year. Some of the youth are going on a mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation next week. Tomorrow morning before heading out of town, I'll be having breakfast with the pastor, I'm about 18 miles (28.8 KM) South of Rochester. The temperature is supposed to be a little warmer tomorrow but there will still be about a 40% chance of more rain.

June 06 : Chatfield, Minnesota to Rochester, Minnesota to Winona, Minnesota - 64.47 miles (103.153 KM)

I had a decent night. I slept on the sofa in the library. The sofa was a little short but I got some sleep without leg cramps. I woke up around 4:30 AM. I used my headlight to read one of the new Amish books. After getting cleaned up and dressed, I finished working on the photos that I had taken. Around 7 AM, the pastor came by and he had breakfast with him. I had oatmeal and several muffins along with orange juice.

I headed out around 7:30 AM. It was an okay ride to I-90. Just passed the interstate, I had to get off US 52 because it made restricted access. I had a feeling that I wouldn't go up to Minneapolis. Its been several years that I had seen my friends in Plymouth. I wasn't really looking to see the further mental degragation of my friend, Leanne. She and Jim were moving out of their condo to a assisted living center. Being that I didn't really know when my friend in Isanti was going on his bike tour, I didn't feel like riding to Isanti for nothing.

I got on CNTY 37 which took me to US 14. I took US 14 west to Winona. Between Lewiston and Stockton, there was a long downhill coast. At Stockton, I thought that the coast was going to take me on to Winona but there was about a two mile climb. There wasn't much of a shoulder to use so I opted to walk it. Once at the top, there was about a two mile coast into Winona. There was some light drizzle.

I got into Winona on the northern edge of the city. It was already after 6:30 PM so I opted to get a motel room. I paid a little more than what I wanted to but there was a chance for rain tonight. I'll be crossing the Mississippi River for the fourth time tomorrow to start my ride across Wisconsin.

June 07 : Winona, Minnesota to Pepin, Wisconsin - 48.22 miles (77.15 KM)

I had a decent night. I woke up around 5 AM. I took my time getting ready. It was almost 8 AM when I left the motel. I headed east to the Mississippi River and to the downtown area. It took a while finding the bridge across the Mississippi River. There was a walkway on the south side of the bridge. The approaches were concrete but the walkway was wood. I took quite a few pictures. There were a lot of barges gathered together near a grain elevator. The River was really high even this far North.

To go East, I was going to have travel South about six miles (10 KM) but there a long stretch of road construction and there were a lot of trucks. I decided to travel North on WI 35 for a while. The ride Northward went okay. Between Alma and Pepin, I met 4 cycle tourists. Two of the guys were heading South to St Louis. I shared with them the road construction. The other two guys were traveling Northwards. One of the guys told me that he had started in New York and was heading West to Astoria, Oregon.

I got into Pepin a little after 6 PM. I've stopped here before on a previous trip. The Methodist minister wasn't at home. I was able to connect with the Evangelical Lutheran minister. Instead of letting me spend the night at the church, she offered to get me a room at one of the motels in town.

June 08 : Pepin, Wisconsin to Rusk, Wisconsin - 89.19 miles (142.70 KM)

I had a decent night except for the fact that I wasn't able to bring Alice in even though I told them that it was an expensive recumbent. There was a picnic table on a concrete pad next to the outside door close to where my room was. I used both locks to fasten Alice to the picnic table and I covered her with the tarp/groundcloth and fastened that down with the bungee cords.

There was orange juice and a large muffin for breakfast. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. It was warm enough that I was able to take my jacket off. I headed up the River on WI 35. A train went passed on the tracks between the River and the highway and it scared two deer who jumped the fence in front of me and ran across the road. I rode to Maiden Rock. After Maiden Rock, the road climbed up to the top of the plateau.

Instead of coasting down to the River, I took a county road that connected with US 10 that connected with US 63 to Ellsworth. I didn't have to ride through Ellsworth. There was a detour between Ellsworth and Baldwin. I got into the Baldwin area around 4 PM. I found the police station but there wasn't any way to connect with the police. I checked out the churches but I didn't find anybody around them.

I headed out of Baldwin on US 12 to Menomonie. The terraign was pretty level to Knapp. After Knapp, the road went down a hill to a valley. I got into Menomonie around 7:30 PM. I found the fire station instead of the police station. I found some firemen in back and a police officer. None of them knew how to connect with a minister.

I headed East around dusk. I had to use my lights for a couple of hours. I found a place to camp out at a wildlife hunting area outside of Rusk. I found an open area in some woods under some trees. I had to check my body and clothes for some ticks. Hopefully, I'll have a dry night. There is a good chance for rain and a 100% chance for rain tomorrow.

June 09 : Rusk, Wisconsin to Elk Mounds, Wisconsin - 06.44 miles (10.30 KM)

I had a decent night even though it rained some during the night. When I was packing things up, I found out that there was some moisture on the bottom of the sleeping bag. The sleeping pad was wet and so was the bottom of the tent. I thought that I had fixed the ground cloth to stop any moisture from getting under the tent. It was still lightly raining when I headed out around 8:45 AM.

I got into Elk Mounds around 9:45 AM. I found the Methodist Church but the service had started at 9:00 AM. It took a while finding the Shepherd Of The Hills Lutheran Church. The church was just letting out when I arrived. I went inside to talk with the pastor anyways. There was going to be a coffee hour and then a church meeting of officers. The pastor had told me to wait. He gave me permission to stay in the church for the night. There was a section of the basement that was open enough that I could put up the tent to let it dry. I'm camping out in the library because it is carpeted and it has it's own heating unit. The church also has internet and the pastor gave me the password to get on the network.

June 10 : Elk Mound, Wisconsin to Auburndale, Wisconsin - 102.21 miles (163.54 KM)

I had a decent night. I camped out on the floor of the library. The sexton came by to see if I needed anything and one of the ladies came by with some chicken and potatoes. I had milk and chocolate cake for dessert. It was good that I was able to get all of my wet camping gear dry. I'm going to leave my tent up all night so that it could air out.

I woke up around 5 AM. I left the church around 7:30 AM. I was hoping an early start out of town but it didn't happen. About three quarters of a mile down the road in front of city hall, the rear tire went soft. I didn't see anything sticking out of the tire. I put in the new innertube that I had bought in Decorah, IA. The pump wasn't staying on the valve stem. The local police officer stopped to see if I needed any help. He took the rear tire with him to the public works building close by to have them inflate the tire.

It was around 8:15 AM when I finally left Elk Mound. The ride to Eau Claire went okay. I took a round-about route through the city to get back on US 12. Even with the late start, I still got close to 27 miles (43.2 KM) in by noon time. At Fairchild, I got on US 10. I got into Neilsville around 4:30 PM. I was thinking about stopping but I couldn't connect with anybody. The police station was closed and there was no contact phone number. I checked out the churches but I didn't find anybody around them. At a Methodist Church, I saw a disturbing message on the sign board "Church Closed, Congregation Gone, G-D Still Here. I could have stayed in town to see if I could find somebody but I opted to head out.

After a short break at a gas station, I got back on US 10. I was at 71 miles (113.6 KM) for the day. I was getting close to 100 miles (160 KM) so I opted to try and pass it. I got to the outskirts of Marshfield a little before dusk. I was at 94 miles (150.4 KM). US 10 swung Eastward south of Marshfield so I didn't have to go through it. US 10 became a divided 4 lane highway with really good paved shoulders.

I passed 100 miles (160 KM) about 9:30 PM. I went down a couple more miles and then I took a side road over to some woods that I spotted. I went down a path but I couldn't go far down the path because I spotted a faint glow from a house that was at the edge of the woods about 200 yards away. It took a while finding a spot that hid me from the road and also out of the line of sight from the house.

June 11 : Auburndale, Wisconsin to Amherst, Wisconsin - 58.97 miles (94.35 KM)

I had a decent night. I woke up around 5 AM. There was a little moisture under the sleeping pad because I had camped out on some soggy ground. It was around 6:30 AM when I got back on the road. There was a slight tailwind that pushed me along. I got into Stevens Point around 9:45 AM. I had ridden almost 37 miles (59.2 KM) so far. I had to ride along city streets to get back on US 10.

The shoulder on this section wasn't as good as that West of Stevens Point. About five miles (8 KM) out of Waupecon, the rear tire went soft again. I found a pinhole leak. The pump was acting up again. It took a long time to get the tire inflated up to 31 psi. I tried to get the tire inflated more but I couldn't. The tube went soft. I patched several possible holes in the old tube so I switched tubes. While I was getting readyv to inflate the tire this couple showed up. They had driven in a car so they must have walked from someplace. They were just gawkers and they didn't help much other than get me frustrated. After they left, I got the tube inflated up to around 22 psi. It wasn't rideable but it was walkable.

I packed up everything and started to walk to Waupecon. I must have walked about 3.5 miles (5.6 KM). This couple on a tandem recumbent showed up. The guy, Rolf, was the owner of the Hostel Shoppe cycle shop in Stevens Point. He used his tire pump to inflate my tire. It was nearly 5 PM. I was told to wait and he would be back in his van to pick me up to his house. When he showed up, he told me that he had arranged a place at a Christian Bible Camp
Riverside Bible Camp that had a retreat center. Before Rolf left, he gave me a tire pump and some spare tubes. He told me that he would be back around 7:30 AM to take me back to where he had picked me up.

At the retreat center, there was a chance to take a good shower and also to get my clothes washed and dried, I got invited to the director's house for some supper.

June 12 : Amherst, Wisconsin to Old Orchard, Wisconsin - 84.42 miles (135.07 KM)

I had a decent night. It was good to get my clothes washed and dried but I didn't pack them up afterwards. I was really tired so I went to bed around 10 PM. I woke up around 4:40 AM. I packed everything up and I updated the website. Around 7 AM, I took everything outside to the parking lot. rolf came by around 7:15 AM and he took me into Waupecon.

I had an okay ride on WI 54. Once passed Shiocton, the terraign leveled out. East of Seymour, I had to stop and check out a farm that had a herd of buffalo. I counted at least 100 buffalo with almost two dozen of them young calves. I took quite a few pictures but I also took about a five minute video of them. I rode through the Oneida Indian Reservation.

WI 54 didn't go into downtown Green Bay. I did some dead reckoning to find a frontage road route along US 41 because it was restricted access till around Suamico. There was some light rain but it didn't amount to much. I found a county road that took me through Little Suamico to Pensaukee. Between Pensuakee and Oconto, I caught glimpses of Green Bay, which is part of Lake Michigan.

A little before dusk, I rode through the small village of Old Orchard. I decided to stop at a wildlife area. I found a place to camp out in some tall grass in the woods.

June 13 : Old Orchard, Wisconsin to Menominee, Michigan - 36.22 miles (57.95 KM)

I had a decent night. It didn't get cold and the tent stayed dry because it didn't rain last night. I woke up around 5 AM. I had the bike packed up and was on the road by around 6:30 AM. I stayed on the county road and that took me into Oconto. After stopping at a grocery store, I got on Bus US 41 that took me to US 41 east of town.

Once out in the open, the wind became a problem. It was either a tail wind or a cross wind. Occasionally, I got breaks out of the wind. I got to the outskirts of Marinette around 11:20 PM. The shoulder became quite washboardy so I switched over to a frontage road until that ended. I stopped for an early lunch.

Instead of getting back on US 41, I did some more dead reckoning and I found a way onto Main Street of Marinette. I crossed the drawbridge over the Menominee River to Menominee, Michigan. There wasn't a state sign to take picture of. It was around 12:55 PM so I decided to try and stop for the day. Between Menominee and Escanaba on MI 38 there isn't much. There are two small towns of Fox and Ford River but they are not much.

I found my way over to the First Presbyterian Church. The pastor gave me permission to stay in the youth room on the third floor. There was an elevator so that I could get Alice up into the room.

June 14 : Menominee, Michigan to Escanaba, Michigan - 60.61 miles (96.98 KM)

I woke up a little before 5 AM. I left the church around 6 AM. It was close to 60 so I didn't have to put my jacket on.

It was about a three mile (5 KM) ride on US 41 to MI 35. The ride along MI 35 went really well. There was a tailwind to push me along. For most of the way, the highway was quite close to the Bay. I got about 37 miles (59.2 KM) in by noon time. I stopped at a wayside for some lunch.

About 17 miles (27.2 KM) away from Escanaba at the Delta County Line, I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone again. The ride into Escanaba went okay. I got into downtown Escanaba around 3:30 PM. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. Instead of allowing me to stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered to get me a room at a nearby motel. Before I left the church, the pastor slipped me $20 in a green- handshake.

From Escanaba, I have about a 150 mile (240 KM) ride to the Mackinac Bridge. Once across the bridge, I'll be heading Southwest to Grand Rapids. In Grand Rapids, I will be checking out the Christian cycling ministry
The Motion Initiative , which is a project of the United In Chr-st Ministries. After Grand Rapids, I will be traveling Southeast 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 21th and June 28th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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