7/26/2021 – Eagle River to Crandon, WI

44.88 Miles / 2339.94 Total Miles

1184 Ft. Elevation Gain / 84,184 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

With a short day ahead of us, we decided to sleep in and get a real breakfast, before embarking on our ride. For us, this was a rest day–kind of. There weren’t going to be any towns with food or hydration until Crandon, so we made sure we had plenty to eat and drink, before getting on our bikes.

We passed along some lakes, just after we left town, and people were actually headed out on them, with their boats. I’ve seen a lot of lakes and a lot of boats tied to docks, on this trip, but boats being used on lakes? Probably less than 10. It was good to see people heading out to enjoy the lake.

As we moved down the road, we entered the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which is a forest with trails and lots of campgrounds, but no historical destination, site or building.

Our route followed a couple of scenic byways, but to me, it just all looked like a bunch of tall trees, with a lot of fern undergrowth. Sometimes I was so busy trying to dodge potholes and torn up pavement, that I couldn’t even see the trees.

,Eleven miles of our ride, through the National Forest, was on Old Military Road, which actually does have historical significance. It was built between 1864 and 1870, as a wagon road, to provide a route for reinforcement of two military forts during the Civil War Period. Mind you, the road had no role in the Civil War. That is just the timeframe in which it was built.

We passed through Hiles, and even though it claims to be the “Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin,” we never saw a mushroom. Not even one.

As we approached Crandon, we passed an interesting entrance to some kind of auto racing facility. I didn’t recognise the vehicle on top of the sign, but I love the idea of a vehicle on a sign, so I took a picture. As we continued down the road, we figured out what the facility is–the Crandon International Raceway, Home of the World Championship Off Road Races. Too bad we aren’t here September 1-5, because that’s when the championship races will be held. I’ll bet big money that they beat the excitement and crowd of that Mud Bog we saw in Butternut.

I wanted to use the wifi in the public library to work on my blog, so Ed headed out to get lunch, then rode ahead to our campground. While at the library, I met a brother and sister, in their 20s, who are riding the North Lakes Route–the same maps we are currently following. They headed out for the same campground we were planning to stay in, so I expected to see them later. Well, I missed seeing them, because after riding almost 5 miles, Ed arrived the campground to find that it has been closed for construction for at least a year. With no other campground up ahead for over 50 miles, he had no choice, but to turn around and come back to Crandon. Once again, this kind of news would be easier to deal with, if you were driving a car. We found ourselves a cheap motel for the night, so we weren’t exactly homeless.

The brother/sister duo had stopped at the grocery store, so never bumped into Ed to get the news about the campground closure. They too rode all the way out there, then rode all the way back to stay in the same cheap motel. Great minds think alike.

Every time one of these malfunctions happens to us, the end result turns out better than the original plan, and that’s when Ed says, “Everything happens for a reason.” Last night, there was another thunderstorm, with heavy winds, that lasted most of the night. This morning, we passed a lot of downed trees laying across the road. As much as I love camping to in my cozy little tent and cocoon, I’m glad we were indoors for the storm.

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