Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: bike, vacation

GRABAAWR – Baraboo to Richland Center

Today was another beautifully sunny day. We were ready for another wonderful day.
And started off a little earlier than normal for a little longer mileage today. But even though
we may have started earlier, it’s never too early to take a break and cool off with your feet
in the water! If there’s a pier… we’re always ready to stop… I’ve always said that
“the best part about biking, is stopping.” And if you don’t take time to stop and enjoy your
surroundings, you’re going to miss a lot of life passing you by.

Today’s route was wonderful. And took us through one of my favorite Wisconsin State Parks.
There was an option for the riders to go around the park on the easier route, over through the
park up & over the bluffs on the more difficult route. Of course we chose the more beautiful
and more difficult hills route. And it was well worth the extra effort. After the one big hill climb
up the bluffs on the west side of the park, it was a beautiful downhill ride pretty much through
the rest of the park. Of course we did have to stop long the way… there was another pier!
And it overlooked the bluffs we had just ridden up & over.

Shortly after exiting Devil’s Lake State Park (with one of the best downhill coasting rides ever)
we found ourselves waiting for the Merrimac Ferry. And since we were waiting, it seemed like
the perfect time for a huge ice cream waffle cone!

On the other side of the river, it was back to farmlands and beautiful skies!

And although the pictures don’t really show it… it was pretty windy today.
And of course, we were riding straight into the wind! Figures, huh?! So it was very hot,
and very windy, and we were working extra hard on a long mileage day. There were plenty
of times when I looked back and found Chris tucked in and drafting behind me. So we made
frequent stops for more Gatorade, a quick run through some sprinklers and even some pie!
As we rolled through Spring Green, we stopped at a couple art galleries, a few little shops and
saw this sign that quickly pulled us in… for some Bumbleberry Pie ala mode!

Along the way there were other great things to find. Like some rusty art… and you know how
I love me some good rust! And an unusual wood plank with a smile on it that we now know is
somehow attached to a horse’s hoof so they can walk through snow & slush better. Kinda like
snowshoes for horses. Which was interesting, because my friend Amy gave me one of these
(sans metal hooks) last year for Christmas and we had no idea what it was used for…
she just thought it was great because it had a face on it?! Now we know…

The day started to get really long as the miles started taking their toll. It was hot.
We were tired. But never too tired to stop and see some cute donkeys on a farm on the side
of the road. The ride in was spotted with very picturesque farms on incredible rolling hills.
It was incredibly beautiful to ride through in late afternoon as the sun was lowering
and casting some great light across the fields.

Hill after hill, we started to wonder if we would ever make it to the camp school.
I think this was our longest and toughest day of the week. It may not have been the longest
mileage, but it just felt really longer. Okay, so we did stop quite a few times. And the wind
was a tough element to be faced with. But we just kept plugging along…
and finally made it in. Exhausted. But happy.


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