Day 96 A new state… WISCONSIN.
July 18, 2009. Cool and cloudy clearing late.
Floodwood, MN to South Range, WI. 70 miles exactly.
A new state… WISCONSIN.
Yet another new state line crossed. We left the campground in Floodwood around 11:30am. The terrain was easy and we crossed through the miles easily. At one point we picked up the Munger Trail toward Duluth. It was a lovely paved bike route but we did need to get off before we actually got to Duluth. Six miles from the end we found ourselves looking at the underside of the road we wanted to be on. Heather climbed the embankment and while she couldn't find a sign for the highway she did notice an intersection on the path further along. That saved us having to push up that incline and lifting the bike over the guardrail.
Once on the road we still didn't know exactly where we were. There was a dense cloud layer so we pulled out the compass. "Can we go wrong if we head east?" asked Heather. Cruising down a long decline Dave replied, "No, but we're not coming back up this hill to fix it." Never fear, we ended up where we needed to be and soon were crossing the Oliver Bridge and into Wisconsin.
From the beginning we knew Wisconsin was going to be fun. We were haled from the roof of an apartment complex that looked like it had two apartments and was reported to be a duplex sharing a wall with the town hall. One guy on the roof claimed to be the mayor of Oliver and barked orders from his perch. "Are we in Wisconsin?" They jovially welcomed us to the state though we'd had no inclination we'd entered it. The state sign was a few miles further down the road past the first town. Then the sign for the city of Superior boasting a population of over 27,000 was in the middle of no where, and we kept being welcomed to the "Town of Superior" though there was never a town near the sign. We kept passing bars but being Saturday late, nothing else much was open.
Riding through the "village" of Superior we wound our way through country roads until we found ourselves in South Range at a play ground area. Nothing much seemed to be in town but the blinking arrow of lights down the road suggested a bar. Perhaps food? Before we went off to inspect a guy came bounding across the lane and asked about our trip. We were soon setting up our tarp in Steve's front yard and talking away. We parted for a little while to eat a couple of pizzas at the bar. There was hardly anyone in the bar when we showed up and none were smoking. By the time the second pizza was ready we were surrounded by beer and smoke. Wolfing down the last of the pizza we ran from the bar and walked hand in hand down the road with the last of the sunlight burning through the last of the clouds.
Back at Steve's there were two jewels sitting on the picnic table. Along with crisp apples for desert, Steve came back outside and saved the night. He offered us showers and we washed away the sweat and smoke. We talked until we were all yawning and sleep made us go to bed.