Day 12

Miles: 63.4
Weather: 84F, overcast becoming sunny
Lunch: Alma Hotel
Favorite Sign: "No Overnight Camping
Towns: Fountain City, Cochrane, Alma, Nelson, Pepin, Stockholm
Saw three more deer today-beautiful
Highlight: Brady's Bluff Overlook


Alma Hotelbatter-fried fish dinner, 2 cookies, coffee9.50

Soft Day
I guess it doesn't really pay to ride a lot one day, because you are more likely to slack the next day. I woke up at seven this morning and looked at my maps. I figured I still have plenty of time to get to Minneapolis, so I went back to sleep a bit. Next I thought I heard rain, so I rested some more. I decided to skip my morning ride and make a run of it in the evening.

Perrot State Park
The ranger came around at about ten and told everyone that there was a big storm coming between four and five. I vowed to make it to the next town and be in a restaurant before the hail and wind came. I started working on the tire that had gone flat overnight. It turns out the leak was from a little piece of glass, and not wood, which had made it through my tread. I finished that up and packed the tent. By this time it was already afternoon and I hadn't eaten anything more than some leftover cookies and cereal. I wanted to hike one trail at the park, though, before I took off.

Brady's Bluff
The hike up Brady's Bluff is short, but steep. From the top I had a beautiful view of the Mississippi with Minnesota on the other side. I also learned a little about the geology of the area (God bless those park rangers).

I was a ways up the road when four o'clock rolled around. The funny thing is that at exactly that time, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. I had a good south wind which blew me along at about 20 mph up the river. I was in Alma, Wisconsin before long.

Alma Hotel
Little did I know that I was still in tourist country. Although Alma is pretty small, there were a couple nice restaurants, so I picked out the Alma Hotel. I was there first dinner customer, but it wasn't long before a bunch of older people started coming in. Anyway, I had a good meal and people didn't stare at me too much.

Looking for a Place to Stay
In order to round out my soft day, I thought I might quit at about 55 miles and stay at some cheap motel in Stockholm (pop 89). However, when I got there, the inn was either full or no longer in service (it looked like the latter). I started looking around for alternatives, but I already knew from my map that there weren't any campgrounds around. Plus, every piece of open meadow had either a sign for "No Trespassing" or "No Overnight Camping." I began to get a little annoyed with all of the pretty waysides and historical markers that were nicely kept-up but not available for use, at least at night.

Wayside B
Anyway, just before getting to the next town I found a decent roadside table where the no camping sign was not so prominently displayed. It is dark and raining now, so I hope that no cops come and ask me to leave. I think I should be all right.

Soft Day
It was a good day all-in-all. I didn't ride many miles. I had a good tail wind. He roads along the river are much flatter than I have become accustomed to in Wisconsin. Plus, I felt the effects of some little adjustments I made yesterday. Lowered the seat a bit, tightened the helmet, and repositioned the shoe clip for my left pedal. I guess after a few hundred miles you start to get things straightened out a bit. A very comfortable bike. Good fun.

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