Oh hi. Day 23. Post 1.

Well hello there family and friends!

First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for my lack of blog postings thus far. I have not been nearly as vigilant in securing the time or equipment to sit down and keep you all posted on this ride as I should be. That said, I do prefer talking in person, and I’ve loved keeping in touch with each of you by phone or through email and text. So, thanks.

I should also apologize in advance for the relative brevity of this post; It is currently 11:40 pm, and I’ve got to go through the usual groggy routine of waking up in 6 hours and getting ready for an 85+ mile ride tomorrow to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

For now, let me give a brief account of today’s ride. I will catch you all up on the past few weeks with several lengthy posts when time permits, and I am currently in the process of transferring a few hundred pictures to a hosting site. Keep an eye out.

This morning we left Fitchburg, Wisconsin – just south of Madison – and headed northwest for Reedsburg. Honestly, my aesthetic expectations for Wisconsin were not too high, and the early portion of today’s ride seemed to be on its way to keeping those expectations in place. I rode in the front group with Conor, Eamon, and Erik, and for the first 15 or so miles our route led us through mostly crappy suburban roads, riddled with construction sites and patchy shoulders.

Once we moved further out into the farmlands, though, we were all very impressed by what we encountered. Rolling hills, green pastures dotted with cows, horses, goats, and even a few goofy llamas, and looming rock formations made the rest of the ride quite enjoyable. The hills weren’t too big, the roads weren’t too bad, and the traffic wasn’t too heavy. It was one of the best pure riding days so far on this trip.

Before lunch, the four of us stopped at a roadside rock face that jutted out ominously over the road. Conor and I climbed all the way up to the base of it, but after getting stabbed by thorny weeds and pricked by annoying bugs, we gave in to our hunger and headed to the lunch stop.

We had almost made it to our designated lunch stop when we approached a roadside pasture of fenced-in goats and llamas. The llamas weren’t too friendly, but once these goats saw that we were willing to feed them grass, they were falling all over each other to eat from our hands. We must have spent about 20 minutes just feeding these silly looking animals straight from our palms. Conor kept remarking about how their eyes had a soul-sucking nature; I took about a dozen pictures, so when I post those I’ll let you decide.

We eventually left our goat friends behind for the delicious lunch that Mary Russell’s family provided for us. Having an ice-cold coke and a turkey sandwich in the middle of the day instead of the usual PB&J is so much more of a treat than I can describe, so, thanks Russell family!

After lunch we only had about 15 miles left til our stayover in Reedsburg, so we pounded those out pretty quickly. It just so happened that the local pool was about 4 blocks away, so nearly all of us threw on our sandals, grabbed a towel, and headed over. Naturally, I was challenged to a diving contest by the local, chubby pre-teen, and naturally, he embarrassed me. Oh well.

For dinner, Jordan looked up a local Chinese restaurant that about 15 of us drove over to. Diana – who is from China herself – told us that today was a traditional Chinese holiday, so we all headed over to celebrate. I stuffed myself with four plates of food, and promptly hopped back in the van to pass out.

And so, I’ve got a full stomach to sleep on and a comfy couch to lay my head upon tonight. I’m off to bed. I’ll catch up on everything else in the next several days.

And, well, this post wasn’t quite “brief,” but who am I kidding? Brevity’s never been my strong suit.

Comments (1)
  • Never apologize for a lengthy post! I suspect we friends and family members all thrive on details, even the little ones (goats!) It sounds like everyone is still having a great time — and I’m glad to hear you have the opportunity to have some fun in the places you overnight rather than just eat and crash.

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