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Wisconsin 2013

An Unexpected Turn of Events

 John Wente, Laurie, and I planned on riding PAW Northwoods for 2013, but this all changed about 10 days before we were to leave.  John was having some health problems so he went to the doc and was put in the hospital for 2 nights.  Laurie and I wondered if his doc would let him get that far away from Oklahoma City.  About that time, John decided to stay home and called our other riding friend, Jim Bean, to ask if he wanted to go with us.  Bean said, “Hell, yes ,if they will have me.” 

John stayed and we all left on the appointed day for Wisconsin by way of Clear Lake, IA. for our first night out. We decided to get up the next morning and ride the 19 miles around the lake, as we have done before on previous trips.  It breaks up the driving to get on a bike for a couple of hours.  We left Clear Lake around noon traveling to Rhinelander, WI to meet up with the Pedal across Wisconsin board of directors and other riders we had not seen for 2 years.  This was our 9th year riding this ride and thoroughly enjoy it.

Sunday, 2nd night in Rhinelander:  We get up to rain or the end of rain.  Today’s ride was to a lake and back.  I decided to not ride because of cold and rain, but Laurie and Bean wanted to ride, so off we go. I am the sherpa today with the van.  We headed out on County G and I waited for them on the side of the road and all of a sudden here comes an albino deer walking across the road.  I grabbed the camera and started shooting, all thru the windshield of the van, not having time to get outside and get better pictures.  They finally caught me and looked at the pics before heading to the lake rest stop.  When we got there, they had a fire going in a pavilion.  After Laurie and Bean got warm, we loaded the bikes on the van and returned to Rhinelander.  We stopped by the local bike store called “ Mel’s Trading Post”, did a little shopping, then went by a store for cheese, wine and crackers for a snack back at the motel.  One of the cheeses, I will find out the next night, will not set on my stomach. 

Monday: We are to leave for Eagle River.  We are moving the van with us.  The plan is for Laurie and Bean to ride to the boat lift on County X.  Laurie will drive on into Eagle River, so that I can ride in with Bean.  I met Bean and Laurie in Three Lakes, so we could get Subway sandwiches to eat at the boat lift.  I got there, parked the van, took my bike off the rack, and got it ready to ride, leaving it behind the van on the driver’s side.  Laurie and Bean parked beside me when they came riding into the lift area.  I was over by the lift, when Laurie yelled at me that my bike was run over.  I went over there and Bob had backed out, clipped the bike, and knocked it over under his car.  My front wheel, handlebars and headstock were bent. Janice called Jerry and here he comes to assess the damage. Jerry loads my bike on his car and we go to Mel’s in Rhinelander to find out if it can be fixed for the next day’s ride.  Mel’s people fixed it in record time and only charged $15, which Jerry paid for. The situation wasn’t good but I thoroughly enjoyed spending the time with Jerry and his stories of world affairs.  We drove to Eagle River where we are staying for 4 days.  Laurie had said her bike was not shifting right, so after dinner I was messing with it and not getting anywhere.  Gary and John Lerma came over to also look at it. All of a sudden, my stomach went to rollin so I went to the restroom, then back to her bike, then back to the rest room.  Man, this is NOT good.  Laurie ran next door for some Imodium AD.  We all figured out we had her bike as good as it was going to get, so we quit for the night.

Tuesday:  I got up and it was very plain I was not gona sit on that seat.  I drove the rest of the week and played sherpa to Laurie, Bean, Sharon, Kris, Arlene and Di.   I must have done a good job with the Sherpa duties as Laurie bought all my meals. 

Laurie: After waiting for the rain to stop, Bean and I rode to St. Germain with Jim following us in the van.  I think he is starting to like being a sherpa just a little too much.  Once we made it to 4 Corners road, it was very hilly.  I discovered if I was in my granny, it would hop to the big gear and miss the middle one.  Gear down and I was in the granny.  With much work I got it in the middle gear and left it there.  We had lunch at DJ’s Northwoods restaurant.  When we got back to the 4 Corners road, Jim threw my bike on the car and I sagged 3 miles.  Bean almost beat us to the end of the 4 Corners road.  We unloaded my bike and I rode on into Eagle River.  We loaded the bike again and went to the Eagle River bike store.  The man there made it so I could go from granny to middle and back.  While he was fixing my bike, I found a pair of gloves with the loops between the fingers, so it is easier to remove them.

Wednesday:   Laurie and I decided this would be a good day for me run to see the wreck of the Edmond Fritzgerald Museum in Bayfield, WI., which was northwest of Eagle River about 2 hours.  Therefore, I left Laurie and Bean in Eagle River to ride to the Nicloet Forest. There was a bunch of patrol on the highways so I drove 55 mph, that in itself about killed me.  To me a speed limit is only a suggestion.  I saw some pretty sites in and around Bayfield.  The waterfront bays there were filled with sailboats and it reminded me of coastal cities like Seattle. Man, it is hilly there in Bayfield. 

Laurie: Bean and I rode to the Boat lift rest stop, then on to the Franklin shelter for Subway sandwiches provided by PAW.  Once again the fire place was a popular spot to warm up those chilled hands and feet.  We took the prescribed route back and I really enjoyed it.  The past two times I had been to Nicolet Forest, I had been easily talked into a short way back that is on a wide shoulder but busy highway.  I didn’t find the route back to be all that hilly and it was quite pretty.  We got back to the hotel at 2:30 and called Jim.  He was still driving back from the museum and didn’t get there until about 4 p.m.

Thursday: We left for the town of Land of Lakes, MI.  We all had lunch in town at a very nice place that was a home grown café named,The Pine Cone café.

On the way back I stopped at the local area bar called, the Bauer’s dam bar.

Laurie: Rhonda from Chicago, who bird watches joined our group.  We rode the Land of Lakes ride backwards.  At the trail, half went to the Country store and Sharon, Rhonda, Bean and I rode into Land of Lakes.  Jim met us for lunch at a very nice place, the Pine Cone Cafe’.  We left there and had 57 miles when we pulled into Bauer’s Dam Bar.  My ass hurt, my hands hurt, my shoulders hurt and I was toast.  Bean had been talking about having a bourbon and coke at the bar.  He doesn’t drink, so it is all talk.  I had taken Ibuprophen with no relief.  I walked in and said, “I’ll have a bourbon and 7”.  The bartender looked at me with a shocked expression.  Mouths dropped open.  My husband looked at me like I was from Mars.  I figured bourbon would help what ailed me.  I went to the bathroom and saw an ad for Red Bull.  I asked the bartender if they had Red Bull light.  He said yes but it isn’t chilled.  I told him that I’d have it over ice.  Between the two elixirs, I was able to ride into Eagle River.  The next morning I was as good as new.

Friday:  We had breakfast next door at Leif’s.  The ride for the day was to Boulder Junction, but we knew a trail out of Sanger that is a lot of fun to ride.  It has some quick, sharp hills which I have a name for, but we want to keep this website PG, so you will have to use your imagination.  We took two vehicles and shuttled riders to Sanger to get on the trail.  The trail ends in Boulder Junction.  After lunch at the Outdoorsman Café, we rode the PAW prescribed route back to Eagle River.  We made one last stop at Bauer’s Dam, but I didn’t order Bourbon this time.  I was over my pain and didn’t need any relief.

One of the reasons we love Eagle River so much is because of the Riverstone Restaurant.  PAW hosted two dinners there and we ate on our own there two more evenings.  Friday night Bean and I wanted steaks.  We found a place on the intranet but it had a bunch of bad reviews.  Why don’t we just go back to the Riverstone?  We did and had a most excellent meal to end our week of riding.  The owner, Ron, always remembers us and we enjoy talking with him on every visit.

Saturday:  We rode back to Rhinelander where most people had left their vehicles for the week.  We left as soon as Kris and Sharon put their bags on the truck at 7 a.m.  The ride back was rather uneventful until we got into Rhinelander.  Every person that owned a car had it on the streets.  Traffic was awful and a bit of a challenge when riding a bike.  I had made the last turn and could spot the hotel where Jim was waiting.  I took a sip of the water in my camelback and my bite valve flew off.  I’m on a busy highway and being doused with ice water.  It was 60 degrees or cooler and I had ice water spraying all over me.  I squealed but with all the traffic noise, no one heard me.  I grabbed my change of clothes out of the van, ran into the Quality Inn bathroom and toweled myself off.  I had to peel the wet spandex off my body.  Dry clothes never felt so good.

We loaded everything up and hit the road for home by 10 a.m.  We drove to Cedar Rapids, IA.  After checking into the hotel, we drove to the Bohemian district.  I had a wonderful jalapeno burger at Parlor City Pub.  It was sinfully good.

Sunday:  The breakfast bar had a pancake machine.  I don’t like pancakes but I got a kick out of pushing the button on the pancake machine.

As we were driving through Kansas City, the rain started coming down.  It was following us from Wisconsin.

We had a great trip, even with the unexpected turn of events.

Here is a Link for the picture gallery


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last modified September 04, 2013