Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ah, pie

Tuesday, August 10:
Raspberry sour cream and cherry pies
Published with Blogger-droid v1.4.13

We lost two posts from Bloggerdroid when we couldn't upload them in Osseo, Wisconsin on the evening of our 102-mile ride from Stevens Point.

That ride, on Monday, August 9, was supposed to start at five o'clock in the morning, but we noticed a bulging tire casing as we loaded up the trikes. We put on a spare that we had just bought at Hostel Shoppe, left the bad one for Ian Sims from Greenspeed, and headed out two hours late.

Grey skies and fog kept the temperatures tolerable, and we quickly passed through town and out along the Wisconsin River to the west. Flocks of sandhill cranes flew overhead. Goldfinches chased each other up from the ditches. We recognized much of our route from two years earlier.

When Google directed us onto a gravel road that would take us away from civilization just before lunchtime, we had had enough. We pulled out the bicycling map, consulted the GPS list of restaurants, and headed south to Vesper. There, we found a little restaurant run by a young couple who really knew how to make a veggie omlette. We departed much refreshed, and realizing that we were, in fact, on the route that we had taken in 2008, when we biked to the Recumbent Rally.

We retraced our earlier path almost all of the way to Osseo, losing some time for another flat tire at the top of a hot and sunny hill, not quite close enough to the town of Neillsville -- with canopied gas stations and trees shading the parking lot of the Hardee's Restaurant. When we did get into town, we cooled off with malts and shakes at Hardee's, choosing onion rings as the only obvious vegetarian fare -- not realizing that there was a separate "healthy" menu available on request.

We decided to stay on Highway 10, but we quickly turned off onto County Road B (and our 2008 route) when we saw that there was going to be construction on Highway 10. County B brought us through Humbird, where asphalt paving machines had reduced Highway 12 to a single lane. The flag-people let us ride on the fresh asphalt that hadn't been fully rolled down yet. It's amazingly sticky, and we remembered a similar stretch on the same highway in 2008, but up near the Menomonie. Fortunately, County B soon left the highway again, and we were back on the country roads.

Several miles of rolling hills, and some slogging hills, brought us to County G headed north to the east side of Osseo. We knew that the Norske Nook would not be open late, but the thought of pies kept us rolling as fast as we could.

We passed 100 miles for the day and still hadn't reached the motel. A spectacular evening cloud display silhouetted Dale's head as he rode on the front trike, and I amused myself taking a dozen or so pictures of the scene from the back, while juggling the maps and GPS.

When we finally came into Osseo at 8:30 or so -- 102.6 miles -- we found out that the Norske Nook is open until 9 rather than 7 (which is when we thought they closed). We didn't have a scrap of energy left, though, so we subsisted on granola bars and Gatorade.

Next to the motel was a monster parking lot with perhaps a hundred semis parked. We tried to upload some blog postings via Bloggerdroid, but nothing was going through, and the postings were lost from the drafts area of the app. We could log onto the motel's internet with the laptop, but could not get any websites to load. We figured that 100 truckers were simultaneously checking the (very bad) weather and tying up all the bandwidth, so we went to sleep without reviewing the next day's route for trouble spots. Not good.

In the morning on Tuesday, August 10, we took advantage of the Norske Nook's 6 a.m. opening time and grabbed a quick breakfast, complete with pie.

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