Kickapoo Valley Ride, April 2007

Spring has finally arrived, and the forecast was excellent, so I did my first ride of the season up the Kickapoo River Valley. I parked at the Port Andrew boat landing on the Wisconsin River and rode over to Gays Mills Sat. afternoon. I was glad to see that the water had been turned on at the campground there. (The toilet buildings in Muscoda were still closed when I drove by.)

Early on, I came upon a massive road construction project on county F: This road carries only 200 vehicles per day, but they're spending $2 million to move an enormous amount of rock out of the way to straighten out a little kink in the road. My guess is that all the fuel saved in the rest of the age of oil by drivers not having to slow down for that kink wouldn't fuel an earth mover long enough to move even one load of that rock. (That would be project 5179-03-71 in Richland County.) This is why we don't have any public transport in this country.

Sunday was very warm, 90 F/ 32 C, yet with a strong northwest wind. I rode the opposite direction from our usual route, through Viroqua to Esofea park. (Against the wind, naturally.) The water was not on yet there, but I had brought water from Viroqua. (Viroqua, for my down-under friends, is on top of a big ridge, and it's downhill all the way from there to the campsite. Very convenient when carrying lots of water.) There's a spring at Esofea park, but it would have been hard to collect the water. There was some stormy weather about that evening, and I watched thunderstorms passing to the south, but it was dry in Esofea.

Monday was cooler, with a strong east wind. Naturally, I was going east. As usual, I stopped at "Terry's Hideway" for lunch, just as some really ugly storms were building to the north. They didn't seem to be getting any closer, so I rode on to Norwalk. By the time I got there, the storm WAS closer, but the showers and toilets in the park were open, so I decided to stay there, rather than ride on to Wilton. (Where, for all I knew, the plumbing might still be closed for the season.) I just made myself comfortable in the shelter, and enjoyed the show, with lots of thunder and lightning. There wasn't anyone else around, so I just put up my tent in the shelter. A peaceful night, except for the dog across the road.

Tuesday dawned sunny and dry, with a strong north wind. A TAILWIND! It was a perfect cycling day: sunny, comfortable temperature, tailwind, quiet roads down the Kickapoo Valley.

Now that I have a camera which, as Ron puts it, "Isn't made of wood," I can add a few timely pictures.

Start at the Wisconsin River
The kink in County F
Gotta fix that kink, for $2 million
Gays Mills Campsite by the Kickapoo
Kickapoo Valley view, trees just leafing out:
Esofea Campsite
Storm building south of Esofea
Monrise at Esofea
Rainbow at Esofea
Conical hill near Coon Valley
Toad pond in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve