Our job today was to get from Baraboo, where we slept last night, to Lake Mills, a little town on Rock Lake about 30 miles east of Madison. I’ve done this section before (in 2019, I did a solo ride to Chicago while Lisa was recovering from hip surgery. She took the train down and met me and we went to Lollapalooza – see the account elsewhere on Confluence.)
So, we followed the same route as 2019, and rode south out of Baraboo to Devil’s Lake State Park via South Shore Road, which climbs several steep hills up and around the north end of the park and then descends to the lake on the west side. This is a beautiful park which I’d not been familiar with before my first visit here – it actually reminds me of the Black Hills, and even Sylvan Lake – with a little Itasca mixed in. We may have to come back (in a car) and camp sometime.
Then we rode south to the Merrimac Ferry, which took us across Lake Merrimac, actually a wide section of the Wisconsin River. The ferry itself (it is a cable ferry, operating since the 20’s) is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is free and fun.
After that natural beauty and boat ride, our partial circumnavigation of Madison seemed rather workmanlike – we kept stepping east, then south, east, south – across the north side of the city and down the east side to Cottage Grove, the west trailhead of the Glacial Drumlin trail which goes straight east into Waukesha, just west of Milwaukee. (Ok, I’ll tell you! A drumlin is a topographical feature left by the glaciers. That’s probably enough to know about that.)
There was a lot of agriculture going on today, under clear skies (oh, beside being tired, we are a bit burned.) Big tractors and combines and other things which we don’t know what they do (unfortunately.) Many of these large implements were in the fields, but some were sharing the road with us.
Once on the trail, we cruised to Lake Mills, on the shore of the lovely Rock Lake. Initially, we’d planned to camp here but after 315 biking miles in the last four days, we caved and got a room at a BNB, walked over to a country club across the street for dinner and are now crashing, even though it is only 8:30.
Tomorrow, we continue east on the Glacial Drumlin trail into Waukesha (home of the BoDeans) and then down to Racine where we will fall asleep by the sound of Lake Michigan’s waves. The weather, sadly, sounds dreadful – cold and wet. I’m not sure I have the right clothes, failing my ancestors’ admonition – “there is no bad weather, only the wrong gear.”
I’m sure we’ll be fine. Nobody forced us to do this, after all.