The day started with a great breakfast at St Olaf College. Private schools tend to brag about their food service – if you’re going to charge $50K or more per year, you’d better have good food.
We were warned not to arrive in Pepin too early, as The Trail Boss had business to conduct at Cycle America Intergalactic Headquarters, which was our first stop of the day.
From there we rode the Cannon River Trail, a paved rail-to-trail conversion for about 20 miles through the woods along the Cannon River. See 2018 post for photos.
Picnic was in Redwing, MN, home of Redwing Shoes, makers of fine work boots.
We crossed the Mississippi River on US Highways 61/63, a trip much less harrowing than before due to the addition of a bike/pedestrian lane. The highway was still a bit daunting for a few miles until we turned onto WI Highway 35, The Great River Road, which parallels the Mississippi.
The river widens into Lake Pepin, a 22 mile section of river a couple of miles wide, and passes Maiden Rock, named for the native woman who jumped from that rock on her wedding night after a forced marriage.
We rode into the village of Stockholm (population 78) for pie and espresso. This was the first time I’ve had blueberry/peach pie baked by anyone other than me. (I make a peach/blueberry – more peach than blueberry, the opposite of theirs.) It was a great pie and we doubled the town’s population for a few hours. There are gift shops in town and an Amish furniture store. I sat in a bentwood rocker there four years ago and almost called my wife to come and pick it up, it was so comfortable. There was a similar chair there today. I think I’ll be back for it after the tour. There was a beautiful elm dining room set and several quarter sawn white oak tables.
After a tour of the village and its park (camping allowed) we rode on into Pepin, where they had Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing on tap in order to help us avoid being too early.
This is our second town to lay claim to Laura Ingalls Wilder. De Smet, SD is home of the Little House on the Prairie; Pepin is home to the Little House in the Big Woods.
Tomorrow it is on to Sparta, home to astronaut Deke Slayton and the museum of bicycles and space; also the northern terminus of the Sparta-to-Elroy trail, the first rails-to-trails conversion in the US, known for its long and dark tunnels.