Journey to the East: 6 July 2012


Back in Minnesota (again)

Idly, I wander to the flowering peak.
Morning sun: its glory blazing
All around, in sunlit emptiness
White clouds, and cranes, fly.
-Han Shan

Wisconsin, no Minnesota, aaaarrrrggg
The heat wave continued on though it had been forecasted to break today. There were high thin clouds as I left camp and that seemed to have increased the already high humidity. Plenty hilly on this day as well, first just getting out of Afton State Park, then the route was rolling hills and bad pavement. After a dozen miles or so I crossed the Mississippi and was in Wisconsin again. This visit would be even shorter, about 25 miles. This though was among the toughest riding I’ve done this tour. It was so hot and the route was very hilly with some long steep sections. I ran into another touron pulling a Bob from a Bianchi Volpe and he’d been pushing it up these hills. At the summit of one of these was the Oasis restaurant and it truly was. The owners were very sympathetic to tourists and were super accommodating. From there the route was mostly downhill back to the river which I recrossed and was back in Minnesota at the town of Red Wing. Yes where the shoes are made. A long, long climb out of Red Wing and it was now over a 100 degrees (F). Finally turned east again (been mostly southward into a bit of a headwind) and descended into farmland. Finally I arrived at Frontenac State park. There was a brutal climb into the ‘grounds but finally I was into trees and shade. A short day mileage wise but 100 degree weather kicks it up a notch. The heat wave is supposed to break later tonight – we shall see.

Lying in my tent
flashes of light, loud rumbles –
summer storm

Long legged spiders
crawl over my tent –
hot summer night

4 thoughts on “Journey to the East: 6 July 2012”

    1. Thanks. Yah the heat is tough. I just drink a lot, take it easy and stop every hour or so. Still hard. Thankfully the heat broke last night and whole still pretty warm, much, much better.

  1. God, I really hope this heat breaks for your sake. It’s finally gotten warm in the NW, supposed to hit 91F in PDX tomorrow (but of course w/o humidity.)

    I remember that hill into Frontenac. It was a “are you f**king kidding me?” type of experience. Walked it. Nice campground, from what I remember. Great view of the river.

    And something for your consideration: I know that the ACA route really wants to avoid US 61 so it winds up and down all those steep hills in the valley. If you want to give yourself somewhat of a break, ditch the route for awhile and stay on 61. It has a wide and ample shoulder for the most part and the traffic isn’t as bad as some would lead you to believe.

    And pause in Wabasha.

    You can also cross back onto the Wisconsin side at Winona. Take 35 south for a bit and then hook up with a bike path of crushed limestone for about 25 miles into La Crosse which is a nice little college town with a great food co-op and probably your last chance to get New Glarus beer.

    Of course, you don’t have to listen to any of this if you don’t want.

    1. Hey I appreciate the recommendations. I’d been thinking about taking that trail and I think you pushed me over the top on going for it. I ended up riding with another touron today and he’d skipped one of the sections by staying on 61, somewhere we figured that one out. Also ended up having lunch in Wabasha coincidentally.

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