Day 17

August 3, 2004

Austin, MN to Praire du Chien, WI

 

Karl and I rode the first 38 miles together to the first rest stop.  Note how Karl is efficiently making the best use of his time off the bike by eating a cookie while mixing his Perpetum bottle.

 

And here’s John Oliver from Somerset, California.  John’s in the PAC Tour Hall of Fame for racking up over 10,000 PAC Tour miles.  Yesterday, a pack of 3 dogs cornered John and unfortunately, one of them actually bit him on the leg.  I first met John last year during Dessert Camp.  If I recall correctly, John attended all 4 weeks of Dessert Camp in 2003!

 

Minnesota is done; bring on Iowa with it’s ‘fields of opportunities’ and

 

fields of corn.

 

Stopping at Lime Springs for a coke, there was a nice mural on the side of a building

 

and a friendly feline who came over to say ‘hello.’

 

We passed through some Amish country …

 

where all these stacks of hay were made with hard, manual labor (the Amish don’t use combustion engines).  According to Lon, an aerial view of these stacks spells out “Go PAC Tour!”

 

Here’s a picture of the Amish compound, next to the field of hay stacks

 

The Amish are known for their fine wood working.

 

We passed through Cresco where they are proud of their native sons and daughters

 

The second rest stop was at a park in Cresco where they had an old train

 

and log cabin.

 

We also passed through Decorah where there was Norwegian museum.

 

A big milestone today was crossing the Mississippi River

 

The view crossing the river

 

Iowa - Done!  Wisconsin is the third state we rode in today.

 

 

Wisconsin is the place to get your turtle meat the way you like it: fresh, smoked, or pickled!  I’ll take a side of cheese with mine.

 

Nancy and John, at the end of today’s ride.  Nancy is a tandem stoker for partner, Michael.  John is our hero today - he pulled us in the last thirty miles.   John also did real well on the Big Horn time trial the other day - he broke Marc’s 2001 record and came in only a couple of minutes behind Marc’s new 2003 record.

 

Today’s progress and

 

message board.

 

 

Profile and statistics

Today was another day with some rolling terrain.  The notch in the profile is from crossing a river.  The descent at the end of the day was to the Mississippi River.  The challenge today was dealing with really high humidity.  It seemed almost tropical - dew points were in the mid 70’s.  The forecasted rain held off until the end of the day, after all riders made it in to the hotel.  That’s a good thing, too, because when the rain came, it came with lots of fireworks from all the thunder, lightning and high winds.