The aim for today was going to be stillwater, but after going further than expected yesterday, i planned to go a bit further today. There is another converted train track that starts at north branch, so that would be the route for the first half of the day.
Thunder storms were expected last night, Im not sure if it arrived or not, but the early part of today felt like it could rain at any time. Grey, cool and imminent rain, it was like riding in Scotland again. The rain never arrived, but riding was nice. I reached the end of the bike trail, the next stop would be stillwater. I decided that it would be best to avoid the big city and instead choose to skirt around it and re join the bike route further south. I stopped for lunch at my new favourite store, quick trip, who sell banana bread that Im now hooked on. I continued south and eventually rejoined the route.
Travelling through a couple of nice little towns, i was soon at the Mississippi river, which also acts as the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I did a search for the Wisconsin welcome sign, but there didn’t seem to be one. What they did have was an enjoyable great river road with a wide cycle shoulder. The road did become quite hilly but it was still pleasant. The aim for the day was now a campsite just short of red wing, still on the Wisconsin side of the river. A few hills later, i rolled into the campsite. The site is situated right on the river. I was expecting to have to go a couple of miles into town to get dinner but no arrival i was told that there was a bar next door. I headed into the bar and was immediately welcomed by all the bar regulars. They were all really nice and really interested in my trip. Particularly friendly and interested was a guy called clint. Clint has cycled across the states before and still cycles everywhere, despite being 70 and usually drunk. In fact he reminded me a lot of rooster cogburn from the remake of true grit. Clint payed for all my drinks for the evening (he is apparently very well off after being hit by a car and getting a large payout). He also explained that he has 6 ex wives, 5 dead and one in prison for murder (it was also strongly suggested that he was responsible for the deaths). 40 years in the services, he was a real character, but really nice to me. In fact, everyone in the bar was really nice to me. Unfortunately, earlier in the day, i lost my rain coat, it fell of the back of the bike. Im not sure when it happened, but looking back at the day i remembered a car hooting at me and pointing. It was near the top of a hill, i thought the car was just cheering me on (cars have done that, it doesn’t really help), so i just carried on. Anyway, the jacket was lost, but fortunately one of the regulars at the bar drove me to a store nearby and i got a replacement coat.
I chatted to the locals for the whole evening, eventually heading to the tent at a trip latest 11.30pm. Wisconsin has been fun, but tomorrow i head back into Minnesota. It was already getting cold, Im glad I’ve got a new coat, but the old one will be missed. It was easy getting to sleep with the sound of the river (and a few beers).