Friday, September 16, 2016

The day got better. After all the delays this morning replacing the items that were stolen, we just had to get lattes--especially since it was raining heavily. I finally got on the road about 11:45 and the rain was down to a heavy mist.  In another few miles, it stopped altogether.  Because of the late start, I was trying to get as far as possible but could not resist stopping at this Scenic Overlook.


The Mississippi River at this point is full of islands. It is actually much wider than most views would indicate. This is the view from the Wisconsin Highway I had for nearly 20 miles.

This short Bridge was the start of my crossing the river into Iowa.

I met Cathy at a boat launch just on the other side of that bridge and for the next two miles I was crossing this land bridge.

To get to Lansing, I had to cross this bridge. This was the longest grated steel surface I have ever ridden on and I did not particularly enjoy it. It was a fairly significant grade at places and no bicycle lane.

Once in Iowa, I had this road for several miles.
Then it turned Inland and got hilly.

One place I wanted to see along the way was the Effigy Mounds National Monument. Cathy and I had about a 2 mile walk through a beautiful Forest.

The Mounds are not spectacular, just thought-provoking.

There were two look out points with beautiful views of the valley and the river.

I had five hill between Harpers Ferry and our stop for the night at Guttenberg. Each Hill was no more than one to 2 miles long and each one got progressively steeper. The last one had about a quarter-mile of 9 to 11% grade. It also had a very nice downhill. On the second Hill, I had a new experience. The road was under construction and a pilot car led me all the way up to the top. It was somewhat fun to see a line of about 5 cars waiting for my lone bicycle to clear the construction zone.

While I had once thought I might have to shorten the day's route because of the weather, it actually turned out quite nice  I made up a lot of time with the flat roads and tailwind on the Wisconsin side of the river.  Even with the hills on the Iowa side, I was able to get to Guttenberg at a decent hour.

I cannot end today without a commentary on the drivers I have encountered.  Minnesota has the nicest drivers, regardless of the vehicle.  I was often surprised at the room they gave me.  I could be on a two lane road with a shoulder as broad as the traffic lanes and still had vehicles, passenger and commercial, pull completely into the oncoming lane to give me as wide a berth as possible.  By contrast, in Wisconsin they frequently seemed determined to make sure I knew I was lucky to have a shoulder.  In Iowa, it is a mixture of the two.  My negative comment about Iowa is that I have seen more garbage along the roads.  Either people in Iowa are consuming more beverages in cans and bottles or drivers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have better throwing arms and are getting their trash farther off the road and out of view.



  1. Student Questions: Ty and Justin-"After you finish this challenge would you go from Maine to New Mexico?"
    Gin asks, "Do you always go to special restrunts when you bike?" I will leave the phonetic spelling for you to note-ha! One more: Jac and Kayd ask, "How many miles have you rode in all?" (That may keep you up all night so I'll let them use their iPad calculators.)

    1. I finally found this. Now I know better how to look for comments. You can also help me by letting me know the date of my posting where you make the comment.