The weather was still looking dubious when we set out across Wisconsin, but it lifted and held off for the most part. I was thinking about how urban the state was looking, and then as if to answer this thought, as soon as we turned off the main highway around Madison, the scenery turned almost instantly into the bucolic rolling farmland that one pictures when thinking of Wisconsin.
It was beautiful, and easy to see where the glaciers carved out the hills and valleys.
We picked up the Great River Road in Dubuque Iowa, at the southwest corner of WI, and started riding north. When I think if the Mississippi River, I think of southern states and Mark Twain's books. But it is also far into the north, beautifully winding through the rolling hills of Wisconsin and Iowa. The towns along the Great River Road were lined with brick homes that reminded me of the Gold Rush era.
If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood of McGregor Iowa,
make sure you visit Pike's Peak State Park.
The views of the Mississippi River are spectacular! That evening, my friends and I landed at a the Brisbois Motor Inn, in Prairie Du Chien, WI. It would have been perfect had their wifi been working, but the bright side of this glitch, is that I was forced to relax and do a crossword puzzle. That night had some horrific weather and the hotel allowed all the motorcycles to hide under the front carport. I was thankful, because I could hear hail pelting the motel in middle of the night...
getting up to peek out the window and seeing the white layer of ice outside.
After 5 great days of riding together, Dan (middle) parted company and went northward toward home. I always hate saying goodbye!
After Dan turned right, Jack, my gps, told me to turn left to I90 on-ramp and drive for 350 miles. This made me laugh, being from New England, nothing is 350 miles long! I have another 200+ miles on I90 tomorrow before heading into the Badlands and The Needles Highway.
It's amazing to me how quickly the landscape changes! I90 across Minnesota is expansive and pretty flat. As an old friend would often say, 'you can see your dog run away for 3 days'. It felt like the miles are longer out west... something about the time change maybe? I don't know, but surely there must be something! As I rode down this very windy road, I saw a billboard about Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood home. I began to think about the earliest settlers, arriving to the land, no roads to mark it and I can just imagine their saying, "yup, this is the spot." People think I am brave for riding across county, but these early pioneers truly were the brave souls.
So far I have about 2500 miles into this ride.
I got all excited when my odometer turned over 40000 miles, simple pleasures, I took pictures of the moment.. :)
On Day 8, I will be solo for the first day, marking the second beginning of my trip.
I am looking forward to it.... it will be a good challenge.
But, the biggest question before me, as I go to sleep...
Should I go and see what all the billboards advertising 'The Corn Palace' is about?
Thanks for following along!