June 7:  Prairie du Chien to LaCrosse, WI 61.4 miles

The weather forecast for today is severe thunderstorms and the possibility of a tornado or two -- just the perfect weather for riding one's bike along the river!  Actually, what was the best part of the forecast was that there were to be winds with gust to 30 mph coming out of the south blowing NORTH!!!

The group decided last night that the best thing to do was to leave at sunrise (6AM) to beat the storm to LaCrosse.  Now the weather station was predicting the storm to arrive late afternoon and each time anyone listened to the TV to figure out what was going on, the predictions changed to a later hour.  But to be on the safe side and after yesterday's rain the group vote won the early departure time ---  breakfast was consumed before most were even awake!!

Now yesterday coming into Prairie du Chien the terrain was three massive steep long hills.  Everyone who had never been to this part of the US jumped to the conclusion that all of Wisconsin must be that and thus the ride would be hard and long.  Surprise!!  We are on the Great River Road and it is true that it doesn't always follow along side the water, it did today and at sea level!!!

With a tailwind of over 25 miles per hour and relatively flat terrain, it was a breeze.  60+ miles were covered in less than 4.5 hours!!!  We sailed through the little river towns before they were up;  before the dogs had even had their breakfast and therefore not at all interested in even growling at us.  We sailed by bluffs on the right and the river on the left.  We saw barges waiting to pass through locks and trains racing down the tracks placed as close to the water as possible without falling in.  We raced by fishing hatcheries, resort cabins, houses sitting high on a ridge looking out over the Mighty Miss and Amish wagons resting in rest areas.  We flew by wilderness and civilization all within each other. 

And not once did we get rained upon!!!

LaCrosse is a college town situated on the river across from Minnesota.  We are nestled into a Courtyard Marriott for two nights with views of the barges floating by.  Just a few blocks away is the historical district that has been placed on the National Historical Landmark list, so will definitely be a place to wander to over the next 24 hours.  For now, however, it is clean the bikes, clean the bodies, and do the wash.  Then rest and later out on the town!!

The Mighty Mississippi! At DayBreak!!




Mississippi Locks



Frankie on the Mississippi!

Amish Rest Stop