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July 21

 

Saturday, July 21

Fond Du Lac WI to Manitowoc WI

58.00 miles

 

Sure was nice to have a short ride today. Our breakfast wasn’t served until 7AM. That is late but since the mileage was short I guess the staff decided we could all use a few extra minutes of sleep this morning.

 

Riding out of town I could see big Lake Winnebago. It is 23 miles across that lake. We didn’t travel along side the lake very far before we turned and started to climb a two-mile hill. For most of the day it was rolling up and down.

 

 We sure do see a lot of dairy farms around here. There were other cyclists on the roads today. I caught up with three riders about five miles out of Manitowoc. They were part of a local bike club out on a Saturday morning group ride. One of the riders commented on my nice Independent Fabrication bicycle. He told me his brother just accepted a job at Independent Fabrication as their advertising manager. We were chatting and I nearly missed my turn. I looked up way ahead and could see Willy had missed the turn. So the club cyclists raced on and said they would send him back to the turn off.

 

On our route map Doug had made a bold note: DO NOT MISS. Even with that notation on the cue sheet many flew on by the poorly marked road. I had missed a right turn on country road XX earlier and rode two miles before I woke up and looked at my computer to see I was off the mark. Oh well, I needed the extra exercise. Actually it was feeling like I was in a huge (free) sauna bath and getting to ride a bike at the same time!

 

When we arrived in Manitowoc our group was split between two motels this time. The majority stayed at Super 8 while those of us that share a triple occupancy room had to go a short way to the Holiday Inn where they had large rooms for the rollaway beds. Since I am in a triple room the three of us rotate taking turns every third night on the rollaway. Works fine, can’t complain. Really anything with a pillow and blanket would do.

 

          With tomorrow our rest day, it was good to be able to get in early today and get a few things done. Our rest day tomorrow won’t seem like a rest day since we have to pack up and have luggage at the truck at 9:30 AM. We then must ride to the dock at Lake Michigan and board the ferry, for the 4-hour boat ride.

 

 So I did get a few things done in the afternoon before Rodger came at 6:30. I rode to a bike shop and got two new tires mounted. I had another flat this morning out on the road 10 miles out of town. My back tire was so worn and the front one had the indent that went thump-thump-thump, I was anxious to get them both replaced. I stopped at a hardware store for some degreaser to clean my chain and made a stop at the Wal-Mart to have an instant camera develop to pictures.

 

          It was great to see my cousin Rodger. He had made dinner reservations downtown Manitowoc at the Wallstreat Grill. (a unique spelling of the name) They are known for their fish dishes, so we both enjoyed some delicious stuffed flounder. It was a nice time to visit and catch up on family news. After dinner we drove a few blocks over to Lake Michigan and took some pictures. It was so hot and humid the lake looked all fog covered. I heard the lady at the motel desk say it was forecast to be 104 degrees tomorrow! Thank goodness we won’t be riding except for the 3 miles to the boat. When Rodger left me at the Hotel he gave me fresh peaches being cherries and some yummy molasses cookies!

 

          We will be saying goodbye to Wisconsin in the morning. The Land of Cows and a distinct accent and local slang phrases that include: “yeah-sure”, “you-betcha”, and “There ya Go!”

 

          Paul was called home from his bicycle trip in Maryland and he is on his way to Bismarck, ND. His mother died yesterday morning. She will be missed. May God grant her eternal rest and happiness.

 

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