After a couple of years of thinking about riding Chad's Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail, things came together for me properly in 2009 and I finally made it happen, or at least mostly made it happen. Since the 'Trail starts down in the southwestern-most reaches of Wisconsin, combining the ride with the Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Rally seemed prudent and practical. My plan was to enjoy time with the rally folks that weekend, ride the Cheese Country Trail of the Tri County Trail System on that Saturday and then Sunday morning as the Rally was closing down, do the few miles to the WI/IL border where the 'Trail route begins.
Leaving the Lake Joy Campground, headed to Mineral Point, WI where the Cheese Country begins on the north end.
This trail like so many in our region originally was a railroad line that was abandoned and evolved into a pathway through rural areas. Local ATV Clubs through membership do the maintenance and oversee the trail and in this case, require a Trail Pass to use the trail.
There are many bridges!!
So that was Saturday, Sunday began with everyone packing up and leaving the Lake Joy rally site. This tent was in the process of drying, my Backcountry 1 in the distance was still planted.
John and Dave were no doubt making plans for their next rally......
while Eugene was patiently waiting for Dave to get mounted up.
I wasn't last (John was still present as is his custom) but I was close.....there was no reason to be in a hurry; I wasn't headed home to the barn.
Finally I was away......
"Late in 1831 while Wisconsin was still part of Michigan Territory......" Wisconsin's defined beginnings started here and this was the beginning of my Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail ride.
My left foot is in Illinois, my right foot is in Wisconsin and up ahead, I'll be in the Land of Lincoln ....for a few short yards at least.
In the distance, the Sinsinawa Mound Center of the Dominican Sisters.
There was no way I wasn't going to stop for this photo.....
The famous Grotto of Dickeyville......
Along Banfield Road; the Platte River headed to the Mississippi in the distance.
Potosi Point Road. I'd been past numerous times but didn't realize this road existed until fellow traveler Jim Klas highlighted this on HIS 'Trail ride.
The road protrudes far into the wide river here, was initially built to load the area's lead product onto barges for shipping downriver.
Irish Ridge Road, the Balltown, Iowa knobs in the distance.
Good-nuff Hollow Road......
It was here in the Cool Off My Sidestand place that things went awry. My GPS unit locked up and I lacked the knowledge of doing a Master Reset. Luckily I had made paper maps but without a map style tank bag, the ride became a real challenge from this point. So many twists and turns....I had to look and remember. "One right, skip the next two lefts, then left and straight from there....." It meant stopping when and where I didn't want to. Luckily I was in territory that I knew and that helped but to stay true to the ride, I wanted to follow THE route.
Dougway Road out of Glenhaven.....spelled very deliberately.
One of my all time favorites, Sandy Hollow Road. This one oft visited.
Scott and I had been here before, he on his V-Strom and I had the CX500. I remember wondering then what we were going to find at the top.
Stopping AGAIN for another map check (something I very seldom need to do) I was studying and trying to commit to memory when a bike that I'd seen at the Guzzi Rally went by. I waved and was shocked, shocked I tell you to discover that it was Glen. I had met him for the first time with the Guzzi folks and only here learned that his farm was just around the corner.
"The 'Trail goes that way" he informed me with a smile.
I took this detour, not on the official path.
Coming down to Wisconsin Hwy 33, a spot I knew well. Just east of Wildcat Mountain.
And this IS Wildcat Mountain State Park, where I stopped for the night.
It had lightly rained overnight and my ride over the crest of our region's famous Wildcat Mountain section of #33 would be done with care.
I made it as far as Sparta and decided to call it quits and head for home. The plan was to only go half way in the first place and without my GPS, it was all becoming too much work. The next sections would all be on roads that I didn't know and since I'd planned a 2nd weekend to finish the 'Trail, it seemed best to cut my losses here and start fresh.
Sparta, known for among other things, the start of the Sparta-Elroy Bicycle Trail (I've taken you to one of the tunnels along the trail more than once).
I had been saving Rustic Route 64 and 91 for a better time and that Monday was it.
And home to Old Frontenac....the plaque, Lake Pepin and Wisconsin bluffs.