I wanted to differentiate my Instagram posts for this part our our tour experience from the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour with a unique hashtag. I chose #WIx3spd. Since the three of us traveled a goodly distance to participate in the Lake Pepin event, we decided to make the most of our travels by adding on three more days of self-supported touring in the SW Wisconsin Driftless Region. This post covers roughly half of that.
We arrived at the Goose Island Campground near La Crosse in the dark, and in the midst of a cold front blowing in with force. The warm, humid air of the Red Wing/Wabasha area was quickly being replaced with unseasonably coolness. It was a blustery 40 degrees as we brewed our coffee, ate our breakfast, and sorted our gear for departure.
This event was Shawn’s vision. He planned the route, pitched the use of our three speeds, and we took the bait. I’ve done plenty of overnighters, but I learned much about multi-day touring from this man.
After riding fairly straight and level rail trails for a few hours, we were eager for some new interesting scenery. We eventually made it to a long tunnel (more than 3600 feet, I think) and rode right through a hillside.
This is where we spent Monday night…Norwalk Village Park. The information provided to us by the kind lady in Sparta helped us decide to stop here instead of riding on to Wilton. Because, yes, the showers would be available. It was cold and windy, but this city park restroom was heated, had showers, and had hot water. Unfortunately, the restrooms had also been so “defiled” (as Shawn phrased it), that we tended to use the women’s side instead…and then only minimally. At least we had a fierce “guardian lion” to keep us safe.
You might not be able to tell it in my two photos of Steve above, but this is also where on Tuesday morning that Steve informed us that he had been struck with vertigo so severe he thought he couldn’t ride anymore.
Steve’s news had us scratching our heads and exploring options and alternatives. Eventually, he decided that he could probably make the 5-6 miles (including another shorter tunnel) to Wilton, where he had booked a hotel room for two nights. So we broke camp, rode carefully to Wilton, deposited Steve in his hotel room, and found him some make-do medication in the local convenience store. And we left him there.
With a fair amount of sadness (and guilt), Shawn and I pedaled out of Wilton and into a completely different tour experience. Not only did we have a man down, but the terrain was about to become more challenging.