Saturday, May 28, 2011

Up and Over

I went birdwatching today.  I saw scarlet tanigers, gold finches, robins, titmouses, lots of redwing blackbirds, towhee, and a Baltimore oriole.  Unfortunately, this was all roadkill! I've never seen so many birds on the side of the road before.  Given the chorus of different songs I hear as I ride along, I know the area is thickly populated, but usually these flying Pavarottis manage to avoid moving vehicles.  One bird  I saw today that was especially exquisite, and alive, was a bald eagle.  He circled over head for a while, looking for prey...we didn't qualify....was attacked by a smaller bird, then winged away, looking for richer fields for hunting.  What a majestic bird; I am so glad it is our national bird instead of the turkey.  I saw several of those yesterday; they were scratching in the dirt looking for comparison.

Today we rode from LaCrosse to Prairie du Chien...the town's name literally means dogs of the prairie...or prairie dog.  I haven't seen any, dead or alive.  It was an unexpected challenging 70 mile ride, and yes, I did get lost...but only because the cue sheet was wrong.  I appreciate the mistake as I rode down into McGregor, WI... the home of the Ringling Bros.  What a cute town!  They were having a big street fair.  I saw some 'interesting' sites there, but the pictures below best illustrate them.
A clown, of course, since this is the home of the Ringling Bros.
This little house was built into rock on the side of a bluff (aka a cliff). It was used for a jail, among other things
So after browsing around there for awhile and checking out the street fair, I pulled my Iphone out and got directions to the hotel.  It was back the way I had just come, and across the bridge over the Mississippi River. (Oh, gads, another bridge!)  Even with the detour, I was in long....long before anyone else, even the van and guides.  So with nothing to do, I went to a pub and had a Bud Lime and cheese curds, (I am in Wisconsin, after all....when in Rome...).

It's not surprising that no one else was in.  It was a tough day; it was very windy, and in the morning the rollers were gentle, 2-5% grades.  After about mile 45, though, those climbs turned into 6 miles of 8-10% grades, and my bike would not shift into my 'granny' gears.  (The easiest of the three chain rings).  So I muscled my way up. My legs felt like rubber.  I did stop a the Effigy Mounds.  The ranger said it was about a mile walk to the mounds, and I said....well, you can guess what I said....I'll look at them on the internet.

Good scenery today....enjoy the pictures.

Interesting yard art.  I loved the contrast of the rusty bikes and sandstone.
The Mississippi is a little high.  

At one time, this was someone's pride and joy.  Wonder what stories it could tell.
Honoring our Fallen in Harper's Ferry
One of many smaller roller we shared with farm equipment
Wild flowers along the railroad track
Tree that looked like something out of Wizard of Oz.  
Unusual, yet striking church in the middle of nowhere.

The ride was tough....I was hallucinating. 

Enjoy---SAG duties call.  See you tomorrow.


  1. That may be the first time I've seen someone else's hallucination (the pink elephant)! I've heard of "shared delusions" but never "shared hallucinations"...This gives me something to think about!
    Your Secret Friend

  2. Cheese curds! Did they squeak when you ate them? That's how you know they're fresh!