Day 8 & 9 – Back to Green Bay (Total Miles = 178)

It was time to pack up camp and head back to Green Bay to meet Honey Badger II.  We rode 29 miles to a small county campground, Bay Shore Park.  It was right on Green Bay, so we took a dip in the bay to cool off.  Considering the showers were not open, the swim was probably a good thing all around!  We just set up the tent, had dinner, and went to bed so we could get up at 5:45 am and get on the road early!  Turned out we are total slow pokes.  We are in our sixties, so give us some leeway!  Haha…Ken and I always have good intentions of getting on the road early, but it takes us forever to get loaded up again.  We didn’t hit the road until 8:30.  We had a lot of good tailwind and downhills though (that actually made me scream outloud in delight, this time) and we made the 20 miles to the bike shop by 10:45.  Honey Badger II was there waiting for me.  She was a beauty, too!  But, alas, I couldn’t take her on the journey.  The handlebars and geometry of the bike just didn’t work out.  I am sad, and yet, I was even sadder at the possibility of leaving Honey Badger I behind.  So, I always say, God will open the door if it is right.  Honey Badger and I will do just fine together.  Tomorrow we pedal out of Green Bay and finally have our sight on the Upper Peninsula.  Ken and Traveler, me and Honey Badger (Formerly known as…Honey Badger, then Honey Badger I, now back to Honey Badger).

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Traveler and Honey Badger

Day 6 & 7 – Potawatomi State Park (Total Miles 125)

Today we rode across the Door Peninsula for 21 miles to Potawatomi State Park.  As luck would have it, the route put us back on another section of the Ahnapee State Trail for 14 miles.  It remains hot, and sunny…did I mention it was 90 degrees?!  I know, I know, quit whining!!  My skin is beginning to bubble…like, seriously.  Every time we stop for a break, the horseflies begin biting me, and then I swell up and itch.  They never seem to bother Ken at all!  He says it’s because I’m sweeter…yes, I can believe that.  But, in case you have been wondering why you haven’t seen any photos of me, now you know.

We loved Potawatomi State Park (it is fun to type and say the name, too).  It is right on the banks of Sturgeon Bay.  We put up camp and stayed for an extra day.  It was great to just relax and walk on our feet!  Actually, we got in a 4 mile trail run around the park.  The trail went past a ski hill that operated from 1941 – 1998 and was run by a group of volunteers.  People were able to bring their kids there to learn to ski.  It looks like those same grown-up kids want to try to bring the ski hill back to life.  We wish them luck!  There was an observation tower on the trail, but it was closed for repairs.  I would love to go back when it is open because I am sure the views from the top would be spectacular.  The trail wound back down to the banks of the Sturgeon Bay.  Just a wonderful spot for watersports of all kinds, including kayaking, sailing, ski-doos, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing.  You can look across the bay and see the town of Sturgeon Bay.  The rock formations in the area look like hundreds of shelves and you can’t help but want to explore their nooks and crannies.  We also ran past a working crew wearing MSA fall protection gear.  Mine Safety Appliances was the company I worked at for 16 years.  It was just fun to see the equipment again!

We talked to a bunch of other campers.  That is what I love about the mid-west…people just love to talk.

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Ahnapee State Trail – Wild Irises
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The Old Ski Hill View From The Top

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Sturgeon Bay

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Beautiful Rock Formations

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The Ice Age Trail/Tower Trail We Ran

Day 5 – Algoma (Total Miles = 104)

Guess how far we rode?  Guess..how..far..we..rode!?  40 miles!!  HaHa!!  No screaming, no cursing, no crying!  I have to say, if everyday is like yesterday, this tour is going to be a smashing success!

We rode from Ashwaubenon to Algoma.  The day was perfect, although the sun was still scorching.  Before heading out of town, we had to stop at Lambeau Field.  If in Wisconsin, do what the cheeseheads do, right?  I shared a picture on yesterday’s blog, the only one we managed to get!  I am still trying to get the hang of all the blogging and picture taking…pretty obvious.  The field was about 2 miles from our hotel, so we hadn’t gone far before we met Geri.  Geri is a wonderfully energetic woman who loves to walk and teach swimming.  I wish I had her in my life when I was learning to swim at 49 years old!  She even has ties to Colorado.  We were all there for the Christmas season last year.  It is such a small world.  She told us about Titletown Park.  The Green Bay Packers built the park and there is an ice skating rink, outdoor game areas, and even a tubing hill.  She was so fun to talk to before we left town.  We had wanted to get her picture but she definitely walked faster than we rode our bikes, because she was gone like lightning!  Happy walking Geri!

Five minutes later we met Dana and Greg, also pseudo-cheeseheads.  These two travel the states managing their hauling business.  They throw their kayaks and fishing poles on the truck and take advantage of all the places they need to go for deliveries.  Of course, Ken and I hit it off right away with this adventurous couple.  We shared our adventures, traveling tips, and talked family.  We said goodbye, then began talking again about the state of our country.  We agreed what the Bible says that, there will come a day when good will become evil, and evil will become good.  The four of us feel that day has come.  It is times like this when you ponder the state of affairs, when the thoughts begin to weigh heavy, and anxiety sets in, that the Lord is our only refuge.  He will give you strength, and security.  He will free your mind.  All you need to do is ask!  We reluctantly had to part ways with Dana and Greg!  Safe travel guys!  Who knows, our paths may cross again!  We certainly hope so!

A few miles later we crossed the Fox River.  It was a pretty river running through town, with a walk along the banks, so I stopped to take some photos.  It was here that we met Jolene and her husband Tom.  They were out cycling and enjoying the weather.  They gave us a few tips about traveling in the UP, as they go there often.  A nice way to take a little break before the long haul to Algoma.

Hallelujah!  We came across a convenience store!  Just to be sure we had enough water to last the day in the heat, we stopped in.  It was here that we met a 10 year veteran named Larry, and his friend Adam.  Ken had felt a sense of calling to go talk to them.  Larry shared his story of why he is in a wheelchair.  Six years ago he fell and broke his neck on a coffeetable.  Then, 3 years ago, a snake bite he had received years back, while in Central America, affected his body.  The poison paralyzed his right side.  Adam shared his story, too.  His belief and trust in God began when his young daughter began having seizures.  The doctors gave them a grim prognosis, it would be fatal.  His family and friends prayed for her and they helped with medical expenses by giving them $20,000.  Prayers were certainly answered because after another round of testing, the doctors found no abnormalities.  The disease was gone.  His daughter is now 24 years old!  Sometimes having a listening ear is just what a soul needs.  In this case, two souls!  They loved sharing their story, and we were spellbound listening.  Ken prayed with them and then we hit the road.

You never know what you will find in the middle of dairy country!  Elk!!  I thought we were delirious from the 90 degree heat, but no, it was elk.  We found out that elk once inhabited Wisconsin back in the 1800s, but they were hunted out.  Surprisingly,  in 1995, 25 elk were reintroduced to Wisconsin, and now the population sits at 400.  I am not sure why the 3 bull elk were at Elk Run Haven, but it makes me want to go find that herd of 400.  By the way, the bull elk wanted absolutely nothing to do with us.

The most wonderful thing about Wisconsin are the trails crisscrossing the landscape.  We can ride for miles off road, on hardpack, with shade!  Ahnapee State Trail is one of those trails that we had the pleasure of riding on.  These types of trails can make the trip slower, but having the shade, the solitude, and the beauty make it worth the time.

Ken and I are usually all alone while riding these trails, but this time, we were blessed by meeting Pat and Mary who were out on a walk.  They live in the local farming community and are retired teachers…our heroes.  Pat now is busy with her organic vegetable farm.  She offered to get us some lettuce, which would have been heavenly, but by the time we could eat it, the sun would have wilted it like a wet noodle.  Keep growing organic, Pat…we need fresh organic vegis homegrown in the USA!

We finally made it to Algoma, exhausted from the heat…did I mention it was 90 degrees?!  I guess the hand warmers I brought along won’t be needed!  We stayed at Big Lake Campground.  This was a campground right out of the past!  The kiddies park had all the old time play equipment, the trailers looked like they were from the 50’s, and the music was straight out of the Sinatra, Doris Day, and the good ole’ Elvis, era.  We set up camp then headed into town to eat pizza and have a beer…mostly because I was too tired to cook!  Algoma is a nostalgic town, too.  One of those places where the locals hang out downtown and everyone knows everyone else.  Interestingly, Algoma was originally known as Ahnapee (Land of the great gray wolf), so named by the Potawatomi Indians who told stories of the legendary wolves.  Thank goodness we never encountered any wolves while on the Ahnapee Trail, but we were happy to have visited the town.

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Titletown – Green Bay

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Dana and Greg

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The Fox River – Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Larry

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Adam

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Elk Run Haven

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Elk Running Away From Us

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Ahnapee State Trail

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Pat and Mary

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Algoma Lighthouse

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Algoma Moon Settling In For The Evening