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TRIP 2016

Update #10 - May 16th
Dodgeville, WI
Trip 48 : 1,799.24 miles (2,878.78 km)
Year Total : 2,552.12 miles (4,083.39 km)



May 13, 2016 : Sabula, IA to Kieler, WI : 55.45 miles (88.72 km)
Trip Total: 1,733.60 miles (2,773.68 km)
Year Total: 2,486.48 miles (3,978.38 km)

I had sort of a better night that what I had expected. I woke up a little before 6 AM. After checking out the radar online, I decided to head out. The majority of the rain is supposed to be south of the Quad Cities. It was an okay week off the road but it was time to get back on the road again. I was able to get all my stuff downstairs in three trips.

After saying goodbye to Michelle and taking a couple of pictures of Rambo, I headed out around 7:40 AM. The ride out of town went okay. Instead of heading West towards Maquoketa, I decided to stay on US 52 and head North to Dubuque. I would have turned Northwards towards Dubuque tomorrow anyway. There were a couple of long sections of road construction where they were filling up cracks in the road surface with an asphalt-concrete slurry.

I got into Bellevue around 11 AM. I stopped for a short lunch break at a Caseys. On the way out of Bellevue, I followed this new concrete bike path. It took me to another road on the other side of the railroad. I thought that this was going to be a more level way to Dubuque but I was told by a guy in a car that the pavement would end in a couple of miles and the road would become a muddy dirt path. I had about a three-quarter of a mile ride back to US 52.

I decided to walk up the steep grade. While walking up the grade, I felt that I shouldn't ride to Decorah and then go on to Minneapolis. I rode through the Minneapolis area last year. The only reason for going to Minneapolis was to see if I could find out how some friends were in the Plymouth area. It's been over seven years since I had seen Jim and Leanne. I decided to cross the Mississippi River at Dubuque, head North into Wisconsin, and then ride across Wisconin Northeast to the UP of Michigan.

The ride to St. Bonivare went okay. I had to stop for a short break. I noticed that the sky was getting darker. A couple of miles down the road it started to rain. The rain was at least light but it lasted a little over an hour. I took my time walking up pretty well all of the steep climbs.

I got to the SW Corner of Dubuque around 4 PM. I stopped at a McDs for a early dinner break andalso to get on the web. I wanted to see if there was a motel in the area where I could use some reward points to get a discounted room. The website wasn't working right.

When I got outside it was raining again. I stopped at a motel across the street but the rates were too high. They wanted $80 a night including taxes. I knew that there was a cheap motel close by but I wasn't sure how to get to it because US 52 into sort of a restricted access highway down the hill into downtown Dubuque. I thought that I could follow some side roads but the route that I took was a lot longer than it needed to be. Instead of trying to follow a parallel route along US 52, I actually took a much longer route that took me to US 20 about a mile away from downtown Dubuque. I carefully made my way down the hill of the hill staying in the gutter into downtown Dubuque and then I crossed the Mississippi River bridge to East Dubuque, IL.

After a short break at a gas station in East Dubuque, I got on IL 35 heading North into Wisconsin. I got in Wisconsin around 7 PM. IL 35 became WI 35. The ride to US 60 went okay. My goal was to get at least to Dickeyville, WI and try to get a room there at one of the motels there. I was loosing daylight fast. It was 8 pm when I got on US 61/US 151 but the wind was blowing me off the shoulder. About four miles down US 151, I happened to spot a motel that was north of the highway just South of Kieler. It took some riding along side roads to get to it because there were no signs. I got to the motel a little after dusk. It was almost 9 pm when I got into the room.

May 14, 2016 : Kieler, WI to Lancaster, WI : 25.77 miles (41.23 km)
Trip Total: 1,438.26 miles (2,301.22 km)
Year Total: 2,191.14 miles (3,505.82 km)

I had a much better night than what I had expected. The room was very good. I stayed up late to get things done on the web. I got maybe 5 hrs of sleep. I took my time getting ready because the temperature outside was in the upper 30s. The high was only going to be in the low 40s.

I left the motel around 8:40 AM. Once I got into the open, I got hit by the really strong winds coming from the North West. The ride east to Exit 8 went okay where I turned North on US 61. I stopped in Dickeyville for a short break to get some hot chocolate in me. There was a long valley to go through with a long walk out of the valley. There were a lot of military convoys going passed me in both directions. Some of the convoys had a dozen or more vehicles in it.

By noon, I had only made 12 miles. I stopped at a closed wayside for a short break. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Tennyson to get some more hot chocolate.

The remaining miles to Lancaster were really slow because I was riding into the wind. I was only averaging about five miles per hour.

I got into Lancaster around 4 pm. I stopped at a McDs to take a short break and to check out the internet to see if I could find some phone numbers for some of the local ministers. I was able to find some phone numbers but I found out that I had no cell phone coverage. From the McDs, I rode into the downtown area. I stopped at a church where I had worshipped before. There was a baby shower going on in the basement fellowship hall. I didn't interrupt to see if anybody knew how to contact the minister.

I stopped at the police station but there was nobody in the office. I did see a patrol car. There was just a suggestion to call the sheriff department but there was no phone available. I wandered around the downtown area to see if I could find the sheriff department but I couldn't find it. I was able to flag the patrol car. The officer in the car was very friendly. I found out that his first name was John and he has been on the force for a little over a year. John was pretty helpful. He suggested that we should go to a downtown motel because the owner was a Christian and he has given rooms to people in need. John suggested that he could get the room with a Salvation Army voucher. I was given a first floor rom but the room was kind of small so Alice had to be kept in the laundry room in the basement. Around 7:30 pm, I got a surprise because there was a knock on the door. When I opened the door, there was a delivery person from a local pizza place and she told me that somebody had paid for a small pizza for me. I think that officer John did it.

I'm glad that I'm inside tonight because there is a frost warning. The low is going to be close to freezing. The high tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 50s and the wind isn't supposed to be as strong as today.

May 15, 2016 : Lancaster, WI to Lancaster, WI : 01.00 miles (01.60 km)
Trip Total: 1,760.37 miles (2,816.59 km)
Year Total: 2,513.25 miles (4,021.20 km)

I had a much better night than what I had expected. The room was pretty good. Having the hot pizza delivered to me was a bit of a surprise. I figure that John paid for it. For a couple of hours the quiet of the motel was disturbed by the laughing of two little kids. It turns out that one of the guests did have two little children. A boy still in diapers and a little girl who must have been three years old.

It was around 11 pm when I went to sleep. I slept kind of lightly. I woke up a little before 6 AM. Around 7 AM, I ventured out to the lobby to see what was there for breakfast. Around 8 AM, I got Alice out of the laundry room and I took everything out a side door to a picnic table to load her up.

From the motel, I traveled about a mile to the Christ Lutheran Church. I found out by going through my previous trip logs that I had stopped at the church and spent the night Wed March 29, 2013. I got to the church around 8:30 AM. According to the church website, there was supposed to be a Sunday school class starting at 9 AM and the service starting at 10:15 AM. Nobody showed up for Sunday school. I learned later that the class had already quit for the summer even though the last class was supposed to be Memorial Day. I went across the road to the park so I could sit and wait at a picnic table in a shelter. Rev Froemming arrived around 9:40 AM. He had just finished up his first service at a small church out in the country.

Rev Froemming was surprised but happy to see me again. I got invited to spend the rest of the day and night in the church. During the beginning of the service, he introduced me as a specialguest. I was given the chance to talk to the congregation so I'm counting this as my 22nd church for the year (16th for the trip). Rev Froemming mentioned me in the sermon and also in the closing prayers.

May 16, 2016 : Lancaster, WI to Dodgeville, WI : 38.87 miles (62.19 km)
Trip Total: 1,799.24 miles (2,878.78 km)
Year Total: 2,552.12 miles (4,083.39 km)

I had an okay night at the church even though it was a little cool inside the church. I camped out in the library because it was the only secluded room in the church. The room could also be used as a crying room because there were glass windows into the sanctuary. The church was small enough that there was no nursery. I was able to connect to the church network. I updated the website. I had the left over pizza for supper. I spent most of the evening watching movies on my laptop. Instead of using my sleeping pad, I made a bedroll out of two blankets. I went to bed around 9 PM and woke up around 6 AM. I slept lightly but I didn't have to get up to go to the restroom.

I left the church around 7:40 AM. Before leaving Lancaster, I stopped to get some milk and a loaf of bread. The ride North between Lancaster and Fennimore was a little slow because I had to ride against a crosswind of about 15 mph. I got into Fennimore around 9:20 AM. I stopped at a cheese factory and also a Caseys for a longer break.

After the break, I turned East on US 18. Once I turned East, I got an assist by the wind. The terraign got flatter. For about six miles, I shared the roadway with Amish buggies. Several of the buggies were being driven by young children. There was one buggy that had three boys who had to be around 12 years old. There were also several fire engines and ambulances going passed. They turned off the highway around 5 miles out of town.

Between Momfort and Cobb, I rode passed a large windfarm that had about two dozen wind turbines. I got the first 20 miles in by 11:20 AM. By noon, I had ridden almost 23 miles. I stopped for a lunch break at a gas station in Edmund.

The rest of the way into Dodgeville went okay. I came across a free library so I traded in one of my paperbacks. I stopped at a McDs for a short break. After the break, I went across the street to Grace Lutheran. I talked with Rev Williamson. Rev Williamson offered to lead me to a local motel and get me a room for the night instead of letting me stay in his church overnight.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between May 23rd and May 30th.




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