Saturday, August 25, 2018

Walls of corn and another new state

We had a wonderful visit with my stepmom Val in Indiana, and set out this morning for Wisconsin, our 15th new state.

Thunderstorms rolled through Valpo around 5 am, and there was a heavy mist with chance of rain when we left a little after 8 am so we suited up in our rain gear. It never truly rained, and we rode through the mist for about an hour.

Instead of taking the direct route north through the traffic of the Chicago area, we opted to sweep around the southwestern edge of the Chicago metropolitan area and instead enjoyed riding through the Indiana and Illinois countryside.

We crossed the Kankakee River, that used to be part of a huge wetland area before it was drained in the mid-1800's to create more land suitable for farming. In fact, the name Kankakee is believed to come from a Miami-Illinois word that describes a marsh.

This part of the Midwest is flat as far as we could see, and Mike said that riding on the 2-lane roads felt like we were riding between walls of corn. Periodically we would see a barn or grain elevator, but otherwise it was fields of corn and soybeans, soybeans and corn.

Today we exceeded the 6000 mile mark for this trip. Mike purchased the bike the end of March this year, and we're hoovering up the miles as we cross the country.

We crossed into Wisconsin, our 15th new state in the early afternoon. The skies finally cleared up, the sun started shining, and the countryside changed from straight roads through flat fields to winding, curving roads through forested hills.

We're in Beaver Dam, WI for the evening. Beaver Dam was settled in 1841 and currently is home to about 16,000 people. A WW II POW camp for 300 German prisoners of war was located not far from our hotel, and there is a 6000 acre lake and several parks. Tomorrow we continue north into Michigan's Upper Peninsula to check off another state and are looking forward to riding along the western shore of Lake Michigan.  Here is the route from Ohio through today

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