Sunday, May 24, 2009
Haven't made the Hatcher Pass yet, but I have been to Austin (Minnesota that is!). Wisconsin backroads, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Spam highlight day 4.
Day 4 - Sunday May 24, 2009
Start: Edgerton, WI
End: St. Cloud, MN
Trip Miles Today: 454
Total Trip Miles: 1672
A primary focus of this ride is to create awareness for the Austin Hatcher Foundation. That's why I've named it "Hatcher Foundation to the Hatcher Pass." Now I can also say that it's the "Austin (Minnesota) to Hatcher (Pass near Anchorage, AK) Ride" based on having visited Austin, MN late this afternoon. But wait, lets go back to the beginning, early this morning, as Day 4 was the most interesting day yet. The very earliest part of the morning didn't seem all that promising at the time. My plan was to leave my overnight digs at Edgerton, WI early and spend the entire morning riding the secondary roads of Wisconsin. Based on a friend's recommendation my loosely defined route was to be Northwest in the general direction of of the Mississippi valley and Lacrosse , WI. That was all well and good and it's exactly what I did. The only part I didn't plan on was cold, fog , and drizzle. But that's exactly what I awoke to and rode in from about 7:00 AM till 9:30. I was pretty depressed to watch the thermometer on the bike's dash dip into the low 50's and was actually cold enough to put on my heated vest on after riding chilled for about an hour. First stop of the day was at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor center in Spring Green, WI. Spring Green is where Wright built his well known home Taliesin and it, as well as his other local projects, are addressed in the excellent visitor center. Tours of Taliesin, both the house and the property are also available but the tours take several hours so I had to pass. Moving on from Spring Green, I continued North and West eventually coming across Wisconsin Rte 171 which goes West from the Town of Richland Center to the banks of the Mississippi. By the time I had gotten on 171, the sky had cleared to a perfect blue like we see in postcards, the temperature had risen to the high 60s and the riding conditions were as perfect as the choice of road! I noticeed plenty of other bikers in the area too. I turned North upon reaching the Mississippi and followed "The Great River Road" (Route 35) some 40 miles North to Lacrosse where, sometime shortly after noon, I got back on Interstate 90 (ugh!) now headed West into Minnesota. Some 90 minutes later I arrived at Austin, Minnesota. Now for those of you who don't know, Austin is the corporate home of Hormel Foods and, in particular, their signature product - Spam! No trip to this part of Minnesota is complete without a visit to the Spam museum! Seriously! It's actually a very nicely done little museum. All a bit tongue-in-cheek you know, but well executed nonetheless. This visit precipitated some necessary photographs as one never knows when one will get to come back to such a significant location. I was outta the Spam museum just about 3:00 and had it in my mind to ride until about 6 pm and see where it left me. Where it left me was overnighting in St. Cloud, MN some 50 miles Northwest on Minneapolis, and 170 miles from Fargo, ND. I failed to make it to North Dakota today but sure will tomorrow. Tonight I need to spend some time working out a route up to and through Calgary, and which will leave me in Dawson Creek, BC on Friday evening at Mile "0" of the Alaska Highway. More tomorrow, thanks for visiting.
If you go to the RevZilla Motorsports blogsite at blog.revzilla.com you can see more pictures and find more info on my ride.
The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by
RevZilla Motorsports at RevZilla.com and by Hermy's Cycles in Port Clinton, PA