Today was the day that we enjoyed a piece of the Great River Road. We had planned this for a long time. I admit that my previous experience on the southern portion of the Great River Road just wasn’t that Great.
We left St Croix Falls, WI and headed south and east. We had picked a spot for breakfast that was about 30 miles away. I really like firing the bike up and getting some miles behind us before we stop. We found just my style of diner in downtown New Richmond, WI. Inside the door was the usual gathering spot for locals, one big round table where the same guys sit in the same chairs every morning and order the same food. When one person leaves, another regular shows up and fills the vacated chair. This happens at every diner, everywhere. The Next Door Cafe had it’s table and it also came complete with a server with an attitude. Madison could handle whatever the group threw at her. She was young to have such experience (18ish). Our breakfast was good and I even remembered to take a couple of pictures (not of the food of course).
We were anxious to see the road and the Great River. My experience in the southern states including Mississippi was that you never really got to see the river. Those states are a lot flatter and very flood prone. We pulled in at the first opportunity and got our first look at the river in all of it’s glory – well, what little we could see of it.
A few miles down the road, the trees gave way to let us finally see the river the way I wanted.
The road continued to be very gentle curves and rolling hills. We actually saw the beauty of this mighty river a half dozen different times before the road moves away from the water and limits any additional viewing.
We spent the rest of the day following the GRR south and east to end up in Dubuque, Iowa. Someone had turned up the heat in Dubuque. It was in the mid 90;s again. The weather radar was showing a strong storm that was about to move into the area. I think I counted 7 drops before the “storm” broke up and as of 3 hours later – still nothing.
If you’ve read many of my previous blog entries, you know that I’m really susceptible to the gravitational pull of my home. Once the front wheel points toward my house, I start feeling this urge to get there. I know the trip is not really over and Mason is doing a great job of not letting me just fire up the bike and ride until I make it to the ranch. The trip has already been shortened by one day (9 days instead of 10). We did about 300 or so miles today and have a plan to see a few spots on the way across Illinois tomorrow.
I enjoyed the ride and certainly sharing it with Mason but came away a little disappointed somehow that we didn’t just ride continuously along the Great River.
One last thought – on this trip I thought “Road Construction Ahead” was the most prevalent sign in America today. Now I believe that there are more of this one. “We’re hiring” has been on every business we’ve been in along this route.