2010 Alaska Trike Trip

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

foggy morning

The next morning Rock Creek was a little foggy, but still beautiful. 

We have a family illness and have decided to leave the Mississippi River Trail for now and head back home.  We are just 28 miles from Davenport, Iowa and this seems like the perfect place to rent a UHaul and load up the trikes and take I-80 West.  We are not sure if and when we will return to finish this trip.  We will update this blog when we make that decision.

Our camp at Rock Creek

What a lovely view from our campsite.  After an effortless ride today, we made camp early and had plenty of time of enjoy the area.

not the lead dog

This is my view day after day when Cal is in the lead.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Camanche Depot

Found extra time today to see some sites along the MRT trail.

MRT again

After days of being lost, we finally found the MRT trail again.  Actually, this was a perfect riding day.  The weather was great with a little bit of a tail wind and the 54 miles seemed like a breeze.  Maybe it was the day off yesterday that made the difference.

another river photo

We're still traveling along the mighty River.

Iowa silo

I'm always amazed at how creative farmers can be.

Flood Events

The Mississippi tends to flood a lot here at our campground -- but not this year.

MRT Day 23

Saturday, September 8, 2012

tractor day trip

Only in Iowa would you see 90 tractors taking a 50 mile day trip just for fun.  We took a short trip into town (Bellevue, Iowa) to get a few groceries and have lunch, and this is what we saw.

cold front

We've been wishing for cooler weather and it finally arrived.

the Mississippi from camp

Not a bad place to spend an extra day.  We just weren't having fun riding 60 miles each day, so decided to slow down and ENJOY this trip.  But then all our plans fell apart yesterday -- with getting lost numerous times, we still ended up riding 60 miles.  So today we are relaxing.

MRT Day 22

hiding from the rain

After looking for the campground for some miles, and then calling them, we determined that campground no longer exists.  It started raining so we found a wayside picnic table and huddled under it for a couple hours.  We were thinking of waiting till dark and and pitching our tent there (stealth camping), but after sitting there, we soon realized it was a meetup spot for men.  So we hit the road again in search of another campground..  Eighteen miles later, we finally pulled in here just before dark and we were very frazzled.  Cal immediately decided we should spend 2 nights here so we can regroup mentally.

one more state

We were only in Illinois for a few minutes as we entered Dubuque.  We tried following Cal's guidebook again and once again got lost.  It took us forever to get through Debuque and ended up on a 4 lane highway with cars buzzing by and no shoulder to retreat to.  After we finally got out of town, we started looking for a campground that the guidebook recommended.  It was up in the hill country, so lots of climbing.

Grotto on road, Day 21

It took the priest 5 yrs to build this grotto out of small colored rock, coral and seashells. 

out of the rain

The campground owner said we could camp wherever we liked, so, knowing the rain forecast, we pitched the tent under a shelter.

MRT Day 21

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wisconsin corn fields

Now we are back in the rolling hills and farms of Wisconsin.  We are hoping for cooler weather and less steep hills.

a different view of the Mississippi

We were the only people on the ferry to Cassville, WI.  Enough of Iowa  for the moment, Wisconsin here we come.

heading back to Wisconsin

If you Check the elevation changes on the map, you will see why we are headed back to Wisconsin.  The hills and the heat were killing us.

along the road in Iowa

Another use for a manure spreader.  We've seen lots of beautiful wild flowers up here, but this is the most unusual floral display we've seen.

MRT Day 20

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

view from the top (Mississippi River)

Next, we rode south up a LONG STEEP hill to Pikes Peak State Park.  The view from up here was worth the climb.  There is a nice campground here, so we decided to call it an early day.  We have lots of gear to spread out on the picnic tables to dry before we can use it again. Thank goodness the weather has cooled some after that storm.  I hope it stays cool for awhile.  We are tired of wetting down our shirts in every gas station we pass in order to avoid heat stroke.

Iowa Here we come

After packing up everything WET, we finally went across the street to the restaurant for breakfast -- the one where we planned to have dinner before the exciting storm hit.  After crossing the bridge into Iowa, we backtracked north a couple miles to see Effigy Mounds National Monument.

MRT Day 19

Worst storm of the year for Prairie Du Chien

Cal got some really good shots of the pending storm. 

Tent insurance?

Day 19 started in the laundry room.  Yes, we spent the whole night there.  Just as we thought we were going to get a break in the storm, it got much worse.  Another camper joined us in the laundry room for awhile, because he had an alert on his phone that there was a tornado warning for the area and he didn't want to be in his RV.  It poured rain all night and hailed from time to time and, of course, lots of wind howling.  First thing in the morning Cal went to check on our campsite and found what you see in the photo.  I'm glad we weren't in the tent when that limb came down. It actually didn't do any damage, but would have been very frightening.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Here comes the rain

We are camped just outside Prairie Du Chien, WI.  We didn't have long to enjoy the site before the storm hit.  We grabbed the laptop and headed for the campground laundry just as the rain started.  It rained cats and dogs for over an hour and then started hailing.  Our tent is under some trees, so, hopefully, the marble size hail didn't damage it.  It has now stopped so we will go access the damage.  Then time to walk across the street for dinner.

5:00 o'clock somewhere

After a very hot 60 mile ride, Cal got his priorities straight. He has been carrying that beer in the cooler since early yesterday. 

I forgot to mention our mosquito battle from laat night.  It rained for a few minutes just as we were arriving at the campground in La Crosse.  All the mosquitos disappeared, so after the rain stopped, we pitched our tent and went for a long walk before bed.  No mosquitos anywhere.  Nice walk.  Then we entered the tent for bed and the battle was on.  At least a dozen little critters must of entered the tent quile we were setting it up.  We spent the next hour with a flashlight on a killing mission.  We both ended up with several bites, but we finally got them all killed.

bad roads today

We had some of our worst roads so far today.  The shoulder was very difficult to ride on in places.

found the horses

Well, we found the horses grazing nearby, but still no sign of the driver.

Amish Buggy minus horses

Saw this buggy parked beside the road and couldn't figure out what happened to the driver and horses.

MRT Day 18

Monday, September 3, 2012

bridge to our campground

We are almost at the campground.  It started raining just before we got to the bridge.  We are in Onalaska, a suburb of La Crosse, WI.  After our healthy Subway sandwiches, we finished off the day with DQ Blizzards.  It has stopped raining and is cooling off a little.

second breakfast

We stopped at a roadside stand to get some fresh picked raspberries from these ladies.

one every hour

This is what rumbled by our campsite all night.

MRT Day 17

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Merrick State Park

After a very pleasant 33 mile ride we are now camped at Marrick State Park.  Being Labor Day weedend, everything is pretty full, but it is a Wisconsin state law that the state campgrounds cannot turn away bikers even if they are full. 

Mississippi again

Stopped here for a snack and a view.

Lock #4

Watched this tug push a barge through the lock.

Alma, WI

We decided to stay on the Wisconsin side of the river for awhile.  We stopped in Alma, WI for the Arts and Musical Festival and to see the Lock and Dam #4.

MRT Day 16

Saturday, September 1, 2012

picnic lunch

This was how we celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary on the shore of Lake Pepin.

Chippewa River

Crossed this river as it entered the Mississippi.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthplace

This is a replica of the original home built by Pa (Little House in the Big Woods) on the original home site.  This is why we backtracked to Pepin.  Couldn't get this close and not see it.

Day 15 ride -- backwards

As you can see from the map, we crossed the river and are now in Wisconsin.  We are backtracking a few miles to Pepin.  Nothing like going north on a southbound trip!!!

MRT Day 15

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bald Eagle

One of the great bald eagles at the National Eagle Center.

National Eagle Center

After a short, beautiful ride along Lake Pepin, we stopped in Wabasha, MN to see the National Eagle Center.  It was in the mid 90s again this afternoon, so we decided not to ride any further and just make Wabasha home for the evening.

MRT Day 14 ride along Lake Pepin

If my boat is in the middle, how do I get it out. 

MRT Day 14

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lake Pepin - Mississippi River

The Mississippi River widens out here at our campground into Lake Pepin and then flows on downstream.

MRT Day 13 - no ride

Forgot to mention our climb yesterday up the 1 1/4 mile hill from checkin to our campsite.  It was at least 10 to 12% grade and took us exactly 27 minutes to pedal in the 95 degree sunny heat.  We have decided to spend day 13 at this wonderful park and went for a hike early before the heat creeps up on us.  They are predicting record breaking heat today with winds out of the south at 20-30 mph -- which would make it a headwind for us. This is what we saw on our hike.

Our neighbors

These nice ladies (Diane and Jan) offered us cold drinks and we definitely took them up on it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Campground at last

We finally made it to the campground, but it was a long 59.5 mile\HOT (90 degree) ride.  We stopped midway under the shade of a tree in front of a church and borrowed their garden hose to soak our clothes and hair.  We refilled our water bottles many times at various places and poured the water over us.  At the campground we showered and washed our clothes in the shower and then put them back on wet.  We are finally cooled off and ready to try out the new sleeping pads.

Red Wing, MN

Anyone ever wear a pair of these?

helicopter cropdusting

I've never seen this before.

MRT Day 12

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Downtown Minneapolis

Day 11 was very interesting and frustrating.  It started in the middle of the night when my 35 year old Thermarest sleeping pad finally called it quits.  I reinflated it about every hour until I gave up at 4:00 a.m. and started looking on the computer for a sporting goods store near us.  It was interesting trying to find bike paths and safe streets to ride on in Minneapolis to get from the KOA to Dick's.  We dropped $256 on new sleeping pads for each of us, figuring that Cal's didn't have many days left to live either.  Then we made our way through town and to the river.  From there we were on bike trails beside the river, so we didn't get lost too many times.  About 3:00 p.m. we decided it was time to look for a motel (no campgrounds in the area).  The only thing close was Holiday Inn for $154 -- not including breakfast.  It took us over an hour to find the hotel, so we weren't going to look any further.  It is really hot here -- supposed to be 99 tomorrow and 100 the next day, so at least we are enjoying the air conditioning tonight.

University of Minnesota

The architect for this building took one too many art classes.