Day 35 - Fond du Lac to Manitowoc WI
Mileage: 61 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Upper 70s to end. Only few drops of rain until well after the riders were at the hotel
Highlights of the day:
Luggage load wasn’t until 8:30 this morning so we could sleep in today! That was the theory. In reality, many of us were still up at 5:30. It’s the routine. The brain & body seem to synch to it. The brain wishes it wouldn’t. We’ll sleep in again after the tour is over and we get accustomed back to real life. Hmmm… Real life? That can wait for a couple more weeks. Please?
It was a standard Fond du Lac morning. Dark clouds loomed to the northwest of us but amounted to very little. Some of us felt a drop or two of rain but that was it. The wind was stronger today but out of the NE, so we got a nice push for most of the day until we turned north along Lake Michigan for the last 10 miles. So, cloudy day with cooler temps and a tailwind for 50 out of 60 miles with a bit more work to finish the day. That was quite enjoyable.
The route started with a loop past a lighthouse at the southern end of Lake Winnebago. Photos were taken and we headed back out into Wisconsin dairy farm country. We passed HUGE dairy farms with building after building for housing and milking cows. We saw more of the large red barns and their associated silos. And rollers. Lots of rollers. Once again, the stereotypical version of a very flat Midwestern state was struck down as we flew down one hill only to be greeted by our next climb. To be fair, none of these hills were a big challenge for our riders and many were a lot of fun.
At mile 48 we had our first glimpse of Lake Michigan. As one who grew up very near this lake, I am often surprised at the number of people who are shocked that this lake is large enough that one cannot see the shore on the other side. Some riders are confused at the idea of taking 4 hours to cross the lake by boat. It’s big! Or rather it is indeed a Great Lake.
The day ended prepping bikes, clothing, vans, and riders for the next leg of the tour. Tomorrow is our “rest” day that includes the aforementioned 4-hour cruise across Lake Michigan. Big Ship, More Fun!