Day 38 – Madison, WI to Richland Center, WI – 65 miles
We said good-bye to Judy with long hugs. She is such a sweetheart and did so much for us! Back on the Madison bike routes and bike paths, we had no problem negotiating the city. Judy had warned us about the hills leaving the city, and actually warned us that this would be a hilly day to Richland Center. We hit the first series of up hills and a long decent into Cross Plains, there was no problem with the climb, but the thought of a day of climbs like these made for a troubling first stop.
We made our way out of town and noticed on the map that the Wisconsin River was off to our right. If we’re pedaling along the river, maybe the hills won’t be so bad. And they weren’t bad (yet), in fact we were following the flow to the Mississippi, so most of our day was a very gentle decent, and we were cranking out 18 mph pedaling sessions. Pretty good for us!
We made a few stops – one was at a touristy fruit stand to get some local strawberries. We downed a quart while we watched caged pheasants on display. The funny thing was sparrows had made their way into the cage, but could not find their way out. It was like a lobster trap for sparrows. We wondered if the cage would be packed tight with sparrows by the end of summer. We may have to go back and look.
At another stop was at a way side park, we spotted a Volkswagen camper and it started a discussion of our next cross country adventure. (Sheesh, we should finish this one!). It looks like a tiny camper like that would be a good way to live low on the road… But do we need more room for grand kids? Obviously the mind tends to wander on a long day!
We spent the day marveling at the rolling farm fields and beautiful farms. Nothing looks more like Wisconsin than Wisconsin! This is a fun state to bike in! Unless you have hills at the end of your day of riding. SO, it was a hilly day, but only on the bookends! We knew we would have a climb to our warm showers host, and we met it head on after leaving the town of Richland Center. Not quite a New England hill, but the longest we had encountered in many weeks. We made it, but there is nothing tougher than a long climb at the end of the day’s ride! We certainly earned our Strive (Nutrilite plug!) this afternoon.
We met John and Sue our Warmshowers hosts for the night. John saw us standing at the end of the driveway high-fiving & trying to catch our breath and welcomed us onto the porch with glasses of ice water. What a fun couple – they are bee keepers and John is a ferrier. They have lots going on on their farm: bees, two horses, laying hens, 25 meat chickens (yellow fuzz balls right now) and two very cute dogs. Their nephew Vas is living with them this summer too. They made a wonderful dinner and we enjoyed good conversation that evening. For two people who have made a living in the corporate rat race for much of our careers, it was fascinating to learn about these 2 who make a living working for themselves.
– Sign on a dairy farm: “Delightful Acres – what we have we owe to “udders.”
– We passed an intersection of Hillebrand and Bourbon. Maybe Hillebrand & Scotch would have been more fitting. 😉