Knowing there was a rest day ahead of us tomorrow, we woke up early today at our campground in Spring Green to get on the road. Our campground was covered in dew and fog clouded the road as we headed out.
Our first stop was actually only a couple miles down the road. Before we went to bed last night, we were alerted to the fact that our campground was directly across the river from Taliesen, one of the more famous Frank Lloyd Wright houses. We altered our route of the campground by a scant two miles and headed across the foggy Wisconsin River. Since it was around 6:30 in the morning, neither the visitor center or the actual house were open for visitors. Not to be deterred, we disregarded the "No Admittance" sign on the driveway and headed up to the house. We got to the top of the gravel road and explored around the outside of the house, trying not to disturb the occupants.
For both Don and me, this was the second Frank Lloyd Wright landmark we'd visited in the last couple months (I saw Falling Water and Don just saw his original house and studio outside Chicago). Taliesen was pretty best though, even without a guided tour. The fog, while it made the house invisible from the road, only added to its natural beauty. It has a pretty cool history, too- apparently Wright's mistress and a couple others were killed by a servant who then burned the house down. Two iterations later... There's a pretty cool house on a hill that we got to visit in the fog early in the morning!
From Taliesen, we headed out to the east, trying to warm up while wearing tons of layers. After a quick coffee stop, we were able to get to Madison before stopping for a real brunch. We explored the city (and the UW campus) a little bit and got some advice on where to get some quick tasty fuel.
Some of you might be wondering what we do with our bikes when we get food or stay somewhere at night. Though it's on our gear list I'm guessing most people haven't studied that the way that Dave has. Well, the answer to the question of what we do with them varies. Sometimes we bring the bikes into wherever we're going, sometimes we leave them leaning against a wall outside, and sometimes we lock them outside. I'm guessing that as we get into more populated areas, we'll probably be locking them more often. What do we lock them with? Well, we've got a pretty small and lightweight MasterLock made mostly of plastic that we lock into a 6-foot Flexweave cable lock from REI. We either lock the bikes together or to some stationary object. Whether or not we lock them, we try to keep them in view. This morning at breakfast, this meant choosing a table by the window so we could look down at the bikes on the sidewalk.
Anyways, we headed out from breakfast and Madison along the lake, where there was a pretty nice bike path.
We rode mostly on some pretty rolling county roads for the rest of the day, and even though it might not seem like it from the photos, the scenery is a little different- you can tell we're getting into much more populated areas by the comparatively smaller size of fields. We took a great early afternoon ice cream break at a gas station in the town of Lake Mills, where you can see Dave locking up the bikes.
Ice cream - and dairy in general - are items of pride in Wisconsin, it seems. They obviously are proud of their cheese, but this also means that they have ridiculously tasty. (and cheap!) ice cream. Dave and I made quick work of a pint of Caramel Collision at this gas station before we got on the road again.
Figuring that we should probably pay our respects to the wonderful animals that create this great Wisconsin dairy product, we stopped at a farm along the road in the afternoon. Dave and Don tried to feed these Holstein cows, but I'm pretty sure that even to them we didn't smell too great.
A good bit of flat riding for the afternoon along a combination of county roads and suburban residential roads led us finally into the outskirts of Milwaukee, where we ended up on a busy commercial road. Thankfully, there was a huge righthand land just for bikes and buses, so we sped along next to the cars stuck in late afternoon traffic.
Once in Milwaukee, we were able to shower and change in our hotel before grabbing some Thai food across the street. Heading to sleep soon so that we can get up early to make our ferry in the morning!