||Nesbitt's Nursery, WI, Hwy 35
||11 - 16
Special Treat: The “Afton Alps”
Change of topography, once more … This morning I left Bob’s house in Harris after telling him how greatful I was for him not only to stop and inform me of the oncoming storm but ultimately giving me shelter in his home! Bob has travelled too, of course, and among other journeys has travelled in Europe, experiencing much the same kindness and unforeseen hospitality that he was today bestowing on me.
So off I went on a road that was just as softly undulating as it had been the days before. Long stretches of soft ups and downs with the occasional descent to a river crossing just for a change.
At noon I reached Stillwater, a tourist town on the St. Croix River with a magnificent drawbridge over the river which I crossed into Wisconsin. (My fourth US state after Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota). I had done 73 kms so far. Looking at the map I decided to head on to Prescott, only another 39 kms and find a place to sleep there. I knew there were no warmshowers hosts nearby, and the next campground, according to the ACA map was another 25kms further down the road. But it was time once again for a motel, I thought.
But topography has its surprises, especially if a simple cyclist like me doesn’t check the profile before setting off on his adventure …
As it turned out, ambitious amateur racing bike cyclists choose exactly my route for a little workout to get some stamina into their legs! The route between Stillwater and Prescott is on the so-called “Stagecoach Trail” and includes the “Afton State Park” which is also called the “Afton Alps”. In a short span of about 30 km I did over 1000 altitude meters of ups and the “downs” were all too short to give relief! I was now at 110 km …
After this ordeal finally ended by going down one last time to the “city” of Prescott, I prayed I’d find a place for the night. But not so. I went up another steep hill (after a break and buying some provisions for tomorrow) to find the motel only to find that it had no vacancy and the office was closed.
So, what now? The map indicated a “cyclists-only” camping opportunity at the Nesbitt’s Nursery somewhere on Hwy 35. Reluctantly and rather irritated I set off. I shrugged off my irritation and began to see the bright side: I was getting closer to my meeting point (Muscatine, Iowa) with my son; so what the heck …
When I finally got to Nesbitt’s Nursery after a seemingly endless number of long ups and too short downs I found the place closed! I was exhausted and sat on a bench not knowing what to do. Just pitch my tent anywhere? What about dogs?
Then Leah came out of the building. She was of the family that owned and operated the place, a tree nursery, a restaurant with organic food which Leah manages – she is manager and cook! – and a number of other activities such as catering service, live music occasions and a day trip organizing service. Leah was extremely helpful, gave me fresh milk for the morning, and – since I had run out of my cereals – even gave me organic cereals she thought had lost their crispness but seemed perfect to me, told me not to follow the ACA map in this case but to stay on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi until I reached Nelson, because then I could go on Maiden Rock with a magnificent view of the River. That’s what I’ll do tomorrow …
In any case I have never before done more than 1000 meters uphill AFTER cycling 100km already! It seems my lost weight helped me a bit! 🙂
Now, who was that again? I guess my mom remembers movies with him better than I do ...
I'm now in that part of Minnesota where you find more Swedisch than German descendents ...
A typical farm from the south-east of Minnesota
Across the St. Croix River ...
... and here it is from above, the Fall mentioned in the sign
I wonder how many decades ago this farmer in Minnesota received his pay frm the sweet-brewing company ...
What do Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota and rural Wisconsin have in common? Well, there are hardly any signs that have not served as taergets in shooting practise!
Stillwater surprised me - not the least because it had at least two antique book shops with an astonishing assortment!
Another "New Deal" monument from the 1930s
This is the sport under the bridge where the St. Croix river joins the Mississippi