Crossing the Rubicon (or at least the Mississippi)

7/23-  Breakfast in the St Olaf cafeteria with a horde of others. It looks like the diving camp and the cello institute are over, but the chess camp is ongoing. The chess kids are all carrying folding chess boards. While we were waiting in line for the cafeteria to open, a game broke out. 

It was a lazy start to the day. A short and easy day was planned and we were warned not to arrive in Pepin before 2 PM. We lingered over breakfast and rode to Cannon Falls, Cycle America World Headquarters, where we were greeted by the Chamber of Commerce offering chilled water and peanuts.

We rode the Cannon Trail, a beautifully paved trail through the woods along the Cannon River to Redwing (home of Redwing Shoes). The path looked and smelled like  home, that being the smells of mixed forest, lush undergrowth and grasses, and fresh water. Lunch was in a park along the Mississippi, with brats to celebrate our entry to Wisconsin. And, yes, he parboiled them in beer and onions before grilling.3BC543C5-523F-4138-92FA-E92C0E639EAB

We rode through the town of Redwing, briefly on Highway 61 (where “God said to Abraham/Kill me a son”), which goes to Memphis, then onto US Highway 63 for a white knuckle crossing of the Mississippi.

In Wisconsin (which is “Open for Business” according to our Governor, who had the “Welcome to Wisconsin” signs altered to say that) we turned onto Highway 35 “The Great River Road”. 

Following instructions to take as much time as possible, I stopped at every scenic overlook and read every historical marker. One of the overlooks mostly overlooked a stand of wild hemp. I took another picture of Maiden Rock after instructing everyone who stopped at the previous overlook that they needed to stop and read the sign about the story of Maiden Rock.   

I chatted with a couple of Harley riders who had started in Grand Rapids, ridden through the UP to Wisconsin, and were now bound to wherever they got before they got tired and decided  to stop.

Stockholm is home to some great little shops and a village park with camping. We hung out eating, drinking, and looking at the shops. I found a bentwood rocker in an Amish furniture store but the sag wagon wasn’t around to carry it for me. It was a really comfortable chair with bent willow arms and curved  oak slatted seat and back. If any of you are passing though Stockholm with a car, you’re welcome to buy it for me.

We arrived in Pepin with more time to kill. It was now late enough to stop for a beer. All the bars along the waterfront were closed. What kind of Wisconsin town is this?

In Pepin we are being fed by folks raising money for their Laura Ingalls Wilder festival. It seems she was born here, so we encounter another town laying claim to her legacy.

No internet access in Pepin, so this post is coming to you a day late. Uploading the photo took minutes, so that’s the only photo you get.

Tomorrow’s post will follow this one with a few hours. It will also be skimpy on photos.

Author: halffastcyclingclub

We are a group of friends who ride bikes. Some of us are fast, some of us are slow, all of us are half-fast. In 2018, one of us rode coast to coast across the US. It was so much fun, he's doing it again in 2022! If we meet Sal Paradise, we'll let you know.

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