We left the Bunkhouse after gorging ourselves on sugary cereals available there, and headed out into the wind that would mostly push us along. After about 30 miles, we made it to a cafe in Harris, MN that Don had recommended. We decided we were ready for Breakfast II, so we stopped. Nick got apple fritter french toast with hash browns and eggs, and Rachel got eggs, hash browns and toast, and the entire meal was about $10 total. It was amazing, and it really helped power us along for our long day of riding.
The upper midwest was experiencing some very hot weather, so we stopped frequently to get water and to soak our clothes in the bathroom sinks of gas station bathrooms — this really helps with the heat. We were very excited to cross into our home-state, and we stopped in the cute vacation town of Osceola, WI to have an ice cream cone and sit in the air conditioning. We vacillated between feeling strong and happy to ride, and then feeling weak, tired and hot. We were excited to go to a Warm Showers (free lodging for cycle tourers) location, and we were feeling the pressure to make it to Eagle River by the weekend, so we managed to push on for the longest ride we’d ever done. Northwestern Wisconsin proved to be a bit hilly, with many beautiful lakes with cranes and loons in them. When we rode through Amery, we were excited to find a health food store, where we stocked up on a few cooking supplies that are hard to find at typical grocery stores.
As we rode into Cumberland, it was starting to get dark. We felt badly about keeping our Warm Showers hosts up so late, but we were going as hard as we could. It was a shame that we arrived too late to see much of Cumberland, which seemed like a cool town. When we arrived, we met Mike and Paula, two retired teachers that are avid cyclists and *amazing* hosts. They helped us get our bikes into their garage and welcomed us warmly into their beautiful, comfortable home. Then they shows us the dinner they had prepared for us: delicious grilled asparagus, brussels sprouts, potatoes, peppers, and carrots, along with rolls, pasta salad, fresh berries, and brownies. They also gave us a delicious Wisconsin beer that we hadn’t tried before, a Valkyrie Australian Pale Ale. We enjoyed getting to know them and learn about their cycling adventures, and after dinner, they showed us to our own bedroom and bathroom for the night. The bed was the most comfortable place we’d slept over the course of the trip, which was a real treat. We only wish we could have spent more time there!
today’s distance: 121 miles
time in the saddle: 10 hours, 15 min
total distance: 2,296 miles