I have just finished several incredible days and hardly know where to start sharing. How about with an apology (the one thing you aren't supposed to lead with)? But, I owe you that for having been remiss in my blogging. I am sure I will find a rhythm and get better at this.
I started the trip last Wednesday (August 15) and had a good ride from Rapid City to Minnesota. It was a little overcast most of the way and the first fifty miles had some pretty healthy crosswinds (30-40mph). Fortunately, I was able to get out ahead of the weather front and let it chase me until I reached Marshall, MN. When I stopped and got to chatting with some folks in Marshall, I lost track of time and let the front catch back up. With the threat of high, gusty winds and potential hail, I decided it was late enough in the day to just hunker down for the night.
I had planned originally to put in 600-700 miles that day, but I love rural America and the backroads had my name written all over them... I dawdled a bit more than I maybe should have on a circuitous route that included a couple of gravel county roads. Plus, I need to stop and return phone calls and emails along the way. Travelling just 450 miles, I obviously didn't make my original goal that day but it was worth it. There is nothing like the experience of the countryside from the back of a bike. The variety of sensory input, the smells, the temp changes, is one of those life experiences you just cannot get any other way. Call it smelling the roses.
Although I was able to stop and meet with a couple of folks along the way, my primary first destination was the TrailCon event hosted by the Wisconsin ATV Association, the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs and the Wisconsin Horse Council in Antigo, WI. The next day's ride from just north of Marshall to Antigo was cool at 61-66 degree average and overcast, but a great riding day. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it was through some absolutely beautiful country. I'm sharing a couple of pictures so you can get an idea of what it looks like in this neck of our great country. The first is from the helmet cam as I was dawdling down one of those country roads. As you can see, there are a few places out here where you could watch your dog run away for a couple of days. The second is the product of me trying to pick a picture that most said "Wisconsin".
The TrailCon event in Antigo was nothing short of worthwhile. My head is swimming with the feedback from all the folks who attended the town hall type sessions we held there. If the rest of this Turn the Tide Tour is only half as productive as this first stop was, this is going to be an incredible experience and I am even more enthused about being out here.
When I reach Iron Mountain, Michigan tomorrow (Sunday, August 19) I should have a little more time to share about the TrailCon event here in Antigo the last two days. Check back. It is good stuff I have to talk about.