David asked that I title these last few days in Wisconsin, "Ups and Downs." It seemed approriate to me, given the the highs and lows we've experienced lately, so there you go.
Believe it or not, we spent our first 5 days in Wisconsin trying to find milk that wasn't from Texas or Minnesota. This is extremely frustrating when you are biking through America's Dairyland and constantly breathing in the smell of cows. So on Wednesday when we biked passed a roadside sign for a creamery and bakery, we took a chance. We wound up at Farmstead Creamery and Cafe. I knew we had found a small piece of heaven when we walked in to see a plate of fresh-baked blueberry muffins being put on the counter. They had such an impressive selection of local dairy goods that we had trouble narrowing down our choice to a large glass bottle of chocolate milk. We were excited to find the milk was non-homogenized, because it was a new experience for us and we kinda liked the floating bits of extra cream :) David had coffee with his blueberry muffin and I picked out the most amazing looking loaf of bread I have ever seen to bring with us for our PB&J power snacks. I couldn't say no to their strawberry rhubarb jam and fresh-picked carrots, and they even enticed me with a fresh chocolate chip cookie as we were leaving. Overall, it was exactly what we had been looking for and exactly what we needed to prepare us for what lay ahead!
A few miles later we came across a road closed sign, and of course we assumed it couldn't apply to us, so we biked the extra few miles to find the road completely torn away. A bit dismayed that we'd have to return over the hilly terrain we had just conquered, we found an alternate route around the lakes that brightened our outlook. Just when it looked like we had made it through the wilderness, I thought to myself how I wished I had taken a picture of the road closure sign for the blog. And that's when we happened upon our second road closure sign of the day (great photo op, not so great for morale). Another few miles out of our way (all hills, of course,) and we were redirected to a major highway, where we were forced to bike for 9 miles in 90+ degree heat with no shade and plenty of fast moving cars - oh joy. Once we were back on our map, the heat and the hills seemed intensified by our poor spirits and we barely made it to our campsite in Birchwood, WI. We've biked 1,660 miles and are exactly 4 weeks in. We're tired of camping and believe it or not, our tent actually smells like cows. We miss our dog like crazy. We're exhausted and my quads are perpetually sore and some days I get bored of getting back on the bike. When David and I eat out together, we spend most of our meal on our cell phone ignoring each other and I feel like I need to expalin to everyone how we spend every waking moment together. I also feel I should do some explaining when the waitress offers me a box halfway through a callzone the size of my head and I turn her down and then go on to order a triple-icecream-scooped fry bread dessert with caramel and chocolate. But I don't, haha.
Anyway, we are immensely looking forward to getting back to the West and getting to see our friends and family in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
And then getting back to New Mexico!
Hopefully this post doesn't seem too discouraging to you. As I publish this, it is now 3 days later and things are looking way, way up for us. From this post on, we're due for a rest day in St. Croix, WI, and then on into Minnesota, where something truly magical awaits us :)