Day 35 - Fond du Lac to Manitowoc WI
Mileage: 61 miles
Weather: Low 60s & wet to start. Mid 70s & sunny to end.
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 6:00. 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 still raining as we started the day. Radar looked promising but little green globs kept popping up until we got to the one and only SAG of the day. It was light and misty with more wet getting kicked up from the road than was falling from the sky. A couple hours into the ride, the skies started to brighten and finally cleared. The wind wasn’t so favorable today. It was rather strong and out of the NNE. We were heading NNW. Stretches to the north required more effort. Stretches to the east weren’t too bad. It is what it is (or it was what it was?) and the riders did what they could to relax and roll with it. What else can we do? Ommmmm….
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!