7/28/2021 – Tilleda to De Pere, WI

70.49 Miles / 2484.62 Total Miles

1093 Ft. Elevation Gain / 87,259 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

When we pulled out of the campground, there was confusion over which way to go.  Our paper maps seemed to be telling us to go right, but our GPSs were telling us to go left.  So I consulted my good friend, Google Maps, and it too said to go left.  For some stupid reason, we ignored the GPS and Google Maps and went right, but within a minute, Google Maps had rerouted us, and the right turn was going to take us to our next town, with just an additional 0.3 miles added on to our day.  Good enough for me.  No need to turn around, when you are already headed for your destination  When we arrived Leopolis, we were one block off route.  From there on, it was smooth sailing for rest of the day.

This is NOT the town where Pella windows are made.
Pine Grove Campground is where we stayed last night.
Hey! I thought we had more than a month left to go, before we get to Maine!

Starting in Washington and continuing probably through the end of our route, we pass quite a few abandoned farm houses that look like they would be pretty cool, if they could be fixed up. Or is it a matter of they can’t be fixed up, because the owners didn’t maintain the roof, the siding, the paint, etc., until the entire house was ready to fall apart, and then it is so expensive to catch up on all that maintenance, you give up and build a new house. If anyone reading this knows how these houses end up being abandoned, like this, shoot me a message.

In Leeman, which, as far as I could see, wasn’t really a town, there was just this corner store, run by a single Mom and her kids.  They are out in the middle of nowhere, and they sell groceries, pet feed, gas, and all kinds of stuff.  I was impressed.  I was especially appreciative of the fact that they sell chocolate mile, because I was needing a fix.  

Today, we started passing dairy farms.  Lots and lots of dairy farms.  BIG dairy farms, and a few little ones too.  I need a tour of a big dairy farm, if you know anyone who could give me one.  What do they do with all those silos?  Where does all the manure go?  What do they do with the baby boy cows, in the US?  The nicest dairy farms seemed to  be branded with the big companies like Land O’ Lakes.

Out in the country, there are very few Biden signs, and a lot of Trump signs.  I stopped to talk to the people at this house, and they told me that most of the Biden signs disappeared.

Ed and I had been riding separately for most of the morning, and bumped into each other somewhere after my milk stop.  We leaped frogged each other for a bit, then  arrived in Black Creek, at the same time, for lunch.  

The waitress and customers in the little diner, where we ate, were interested in our adventure, and they were surprised we were camping tonight.  Why surprised?  Because there was a severe weather warning for the area.  What?  This was the first we’d heard of it.  One guy brought his phone over, to show us his radar app, and it looked pretty bad.  My National Weather Service feed had a prediction of golfball sized hail, 80 mph winds, tornados, and possibly a Derecho.  If you’re in a car or building, you have some protection from the elements, but in a tent?  Not so much.  I was wondering how this was going to impact us.  

I had planned to stop at the local library to work on the blog, for an hour or so, but the weather had me worried, so I headed for the campground to get ready for whatever might be coming our way. 

Our campground for the evening.

By the time I arrived at the campground, Ed had arranged with the folks at the campground to let us sleep under the pavilion by the pool, to be safe from the storm, lightening strikes and a tree possibly falling on us.  The catch was that we had to wait till camper activity in that area died down, before we could set up.  Easy enough.  We’re good at hanging out, and can easily find ways to entertain ourselves.  

During my first hour, there, a 9-year old girl, was having a big birthday swim party, with about 8 other little girls her age.  I put my swimsuit on, while I washed all my clothes, swam and showered (had to drip dry, because my pack towel was in the laundry too.)  

At one point, I was in the bathroom getting chain grease stains out of my sun legs, when a little girl called out, from one of the bathroom stalls, “Help.”  Her voice was so soft, I wasn’t sure of what I was hearing.  She called out again, “Can somebody help me?”  I went over next to the stall where the voice was coming from, and asked her if she needed me to hand her some toilet paper.  “I have toilet paper, “  was her response, “I need someone to help me wipe.”  

Ummm.  Let’s see, now.  That’s something I would have helped my daughter with and have helped my grandkids with, but not someone I don’t know—especially a child.  I asked her if her Mom was here, and she told me her Mom’s name.  So I headed outside to find her Mom, asking the nearest parent to the door who Tashonda was.  Mom was a ways down the sidewalk, talking on her cell phone, so I hurried down and told her that her daughter needed her in the bathroom, and she almost ran for the bathroom.  When I pointed the stall out, to her, there was no hesitation (the floor was covered in mud and water, tracked in from the pool, or overflow from the shower).  She dropped to the ground of the RV park bathroom, on her belly, drug herself into that toilet stall, and proceeded to gently talk to and help her daughter, and tell her what a good job she’d done.  

Did I really just see this?  Was I really hearing this?  Who dives down and gets prone on a filthy public restroom floor, then does the low crawl, into a bathroom stall, to help their child wipe their fanny?  Tashonda you are the bestest, kindest Mom EVER!

Over the next couple of hours, people from the RV park, who had TV service, came by to warn us of the severe storm warning and what to do if we heard the tornado sirens (run for the laundry room).  We had done everything we could to prepare.  Our tents were tied down under a pavilion; my bike, panniers and all but my sleeping gear were in the laundry room.  

It was pouring rain, as I climbed into my sleeping bag, then a flash of lightening lit up everything us, followed by a thunder clap, just a second later.  Things weren’t sounding too good.  I fell asleep quickly, in spite of the loud rumbling thunder.  Story o be continued—tomorrow.

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