Day twenty two


We awoke to good weather at the Veterans Park. We were surprised to find that we each had a soft tire on the bikes. Somewhere along the line we had touched thorns or other sharp object that didn’t flatten the tires right away. This was important only in that it took us a little longer to get rolling. While we were executing the fix, a golf cart approached and rudely drove right into the middle of our campsite. The irritated man barked out a barely understandable statement that we owed more money.

“Excuse me?” I said maintaining a civil tone.

“You’ve got two tents.” He declared.

“So.” I replied

“You owe for another night.” He demanded.

“But we’ve got only one campsite.” I offered, having never experienced any such charge in all of my years of camping and traveling. His demeanor could not be matched or challenged without ruining our day. I reported to the office and queried the fat, corn-fed and equally obnoxious lady at the desk. She maintained the same line. For a few more dollars the confrontation ended.

Annoyed but by no means deterred, we packed our bags and departed for another great day of cycling adventure. The sketchy start would rapidly vanish into a wonderful day of discovery. We continued on the La Cross River Trail. This would take us to the Sparta to Elroy trail.

Along the way the rail to trail path took us through what appeared to be mostly forest. Occasionally we could see that the forest extended only a short distance to the more common fields of corn and wheat. The riding was heavenly. The path, though not paved was swift and smooth. The absence of cars and trucks is only rivaled by mountain biking.

One of the coolest features of the ride was three old tunnels. At the entrance to each was a sign saying: “Walk Your Bike!” Naturally we ignored the warning. The first tunnel was not so long and the ride through was easy. The next tunnel, however was considerably longer and a different story. Once well into the tunnel, all of the light disappeared. The only feature one could see at all was either end. The navigation in the tunnel became difficult. There were ditches on both sides causing some treachery. We eventually yielded to using lights and continued.

We rode all day to the town of Elroy. We had hoped to go to the library and send e-mails. We were just late and missed the opportunity. While pondering what to do we noticed a war memorial standing in front of the library. It was a small obelisk, perhaps five feet tall. On one side it stated: To the memory of the fallen soldiers of WWI. May their sacrifice assure that men will never go to war again. Well, that lasted about two decades. The next side of the memorial stated: To the memory of the fallen soldiers of WWII. The Third side stated: To the memory of the soldiers of the Korean War. The fourth side said: To the memory of the soldiers of Viet Nam. So much for the “War to end all wars…” Now the Elroy library will have to erect another memorial to the stupidity of our politicians.


We departed Elroy and pedaled to the town of Wonewoc on the trail. A flock of geese, at one spot, gathered on the trail and yielded only when we got very close. At Wonewoc we discovered a campground immediately adjacent to the bike trail. The sky was dark and threatening. We quickly set up our campsite as a light rain began to fall. It rained all night with attendant lightning and thunder. The storm cells remained at a distance and didn’t create the drama that we had experienced in Iowa.