7/29/2021 – De Pere to Manitowoc, WI

52.89 Miles / 2537.51 Total Miles

1093 Ft. Elevation Gain / 88,352 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

We went to bed, last night, not knowing for sure if there was going to be golfball sized hail, 80 mph winds or a tornado.  It was windy and rainy, during the night, but nothing woke me, and when my alarm went off at 6 AM, nothing had changed–besides the ground outside the pavilion being wet.  No trees were blown down, and nothing was damaged.  The severe part of the storm skipped us.  We’ve been lucky with the weather this entire trip.  Knock on wood.  

An added blessing, from sleeping under the pavilion, was that my tent and tent footprint were dry.  I don’t like compressing them into their stuff sack, when they are wet, especially, when it is going to be warm out.  Goes against my grain.  Things could get moldy, which is never good. 

We made good time, but that might have been partly, because we were looking forward to meeting up with Chris Demetre, who has been cycling for 3 days from Edgerton, WI, to meet us in Manitowoc.  He will be riding with us through Bar Harbor.  Chris started riding at 5:30 AM, so he beat us to town and checked into his hotel.  We had Warm Showers hosts, Cath and Brian, lined up, and were tenting in their back yard, just across the road from Lake Michigan, while they were out of town for the weekend.  

As we mounted our trusty steads and turned on our Garmins, we both realized that we had run out of maps on our Garmins and should have downloaded more maps, during all that free time we had, yesterday.  Duh.  We decided to push ahead and navigate off the paper maps, like we did on the Southern Tier.  It was cool and humid, out, as we hit the road, but as the day wore on, that gradually transitioned to hot and humid.  Bottom line: We were sweating our brains out—all day long.

Everything about the ride, today, had to do with dairy farming.  Dairy cattle operations of every size were everywhere, separated by crops that grow cattle feed, with farmhouses of all sizes sprinkled into the mix.  We stayed on quiet country roads all day long, and I have to say that it was one of my most enjoyable riding days.  The dairy farms, with their silos and farmhouses, all surrounded by fields, are really pretty.  

This is where we ate lunch.

On our way into town, a sculpture caught our eye—named, “Late for a Date.”  It was the monument piece of the Rahr Art Museum.  I popped my head in to ascertain what the admission was (free) and how long it would take to see the museum (30-60 minutes), and we decided to stop at the museum, before heading to our accommodations for the night.  

There were 2 painting exhibits by women who write about their art.  One had a political viewpoint, and the other, a family farming viewpoint.  When I get home, I’m going to buy the following book, by Lorraine Ortner-Blake, to read the family farm stories to my grandkids.  

After setting up our tents, showering, starting a load of laundry, and checking out our host’s garden and healing hermitage, we headed to the Maritime Museum and to meet up with Chris.  I gave him a call as I left the house, and he came walking up as I pulled up to the museum on my bike. 

He is quite the mechanic, and immediately started checking out our bikes.  Both Ed and I have been having brake problems, so our priority changed from spending time at the museum to spending time at the bike shop.  The bike shop didn’t have brake pads for either of our bikes, so they dinked around with our brakes, making Ed’s better and mine worse, and I payed for that.  Chris put my bike back on the bike stand and used the shop’s tools to work on getting my brakes to a better place—until the place closed.  

2 thoughts on “7/29/2021 – De Pere to Manitowoc, WI

  1. It is so good to hear that you have escaped some of the stormy weather in the midwest. I grew up in Illinois so I know how stormy the weather can be at times! Your pictures bring back fond memories of the midwestern small towns. Stay safe and I hope that you continue to enjoy your adventure!

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