UP Bike Tour Day 3 – Going Up

Last night I slept well in my tent. Maybe it was the sound of the waterfall. Maybe it was the nice people. One camper, a retired trucker, helped me get set up when the campground manager was AWOL. Another camper came by to chat and gave me a shrink wrapped bag of trail mix. (I thanked her profusely and didn’t mention that trail mix makes me gag. )

I left a little after 6. The roads were empty. Just as I thought, “There will be deer around.” There he was. A young buck was standing in the middle of the road

The trucker told me that I could get breakfast in Bowler but the place was closed so I continued on to Mattoon. The only place to get food was also closed but I spotted the manager and asked him to open early. He did!

Today’s breakfast was fruit and chocolate milk.

The roads were getting hillier and hillier. And hillier.

I spotted a sign for a ski resort, pointing in my direction of travel. Good thing I started early.

Up, up, up. Only a few hills were steep. I refused to use my granny gears on them. Pride goeth before the knees.

I hoped that the top would be a plateau but the road came right back down. It was a fun ride but short. I stopped to take a picture of the sign for Lily, WI. (It’s my daughter’s name.)

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I foolishly had not bought water in Mattoon and now I was paying for it. I arrived at a lakeside community and asked a woman sitting in her carport for some water. After a pause, she stood and stomped into her house. She came out with a 12 ounce bottle of cold water. “Here” she said but you could read the “Get lost” from her demeanor.

What a peach.

The water and the flatter road along the lake made for 6 easy miles into Crandon. I stopped at the first restaurant I saw and ordered a skillet with corned beef hash. It turned out to be a massive pile of food. I struggled to eat it all while downing three glasses of water and three of Pepsi.

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Before I left, the waitress filled my water bottles with ice water. Yess!

While I ate, the outdoor temperature had spiked. The humidity also was higher.

So I checked into a motel instead of camping. The owner gave me a bottle of water and, then, a can of beer. The room is old but huge.  I’m coming here when they put me in the witness protection program. There’s a lake nearby but the Nats are playing the Brewers (Wisconsin’s baseball team) on TV. And I bought some Totally Naked beer which is brewed somewhere near here.

I had strongly considered adding miles to my planned 80+ miles but the water deficit earlier in the day did me in. I stopped at 84 miles. This put me near 70 miles per day. So far.

Aside from the hills, today’s ride featured much more forest than farm. Also, the drivers were very courteous and careful around me, even the logging trucks.

Tomorrow’s plan includes 39 miles of riding to the north before I turn east for the Upper Peninsula.

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