6.1.16 – 6.5.14 :: Labor Day Weekend
Jeremy, Greg, and me.
- Wed. July 1 :: Minocqua, WI – Council Grounds State Park, WI (60 mi)
- Thurs. July 2 :: Merrill Wi – Plover, WI (65 mi)
- Fri. July 3 :: Plover, WI – Buckhorn State Park, WI (62 mi)
- Sat. July 4 :: Buckhorn State Park, WI – Wisconsin Dells, WI (36 mi)
Disclaimer: I’m writing this a month later…so memory and details fade…
Day 0 :: Tues. June 30 :: Iowa City – Minocqua
Tuesday Jeremy, Greg, and I got off on our usual late start. Greg’s cousin was nice enough to meet us in the Adams area, then drive us the rest of the way to drop us off in Minocqua. Additionally, his family stored my car while we were touring, then stage it in the Dells at the end of our trip. Couldn’t have done it without them. We arrived in Minocqua late, stayed at the place we stay for our annual xc ski trip: the Pointe. Headed across the road to have some celebratory drinks, then headed in for the night.
Day 1 :: Wed. July 1 :: Minocqua, WI – Council Grounds State Park, Merrill, WI (60 mi)
Wednesday, we woke up, discovered the Island Cafe was closed on Wednesdays. We asked someone on the street, and found out about an excellent alternative I was unaware of, Great Northern Coffee Shop. We just beat the rush (somehow?) and the food and coffee were excellent.
After breakfast we started our tour. The bike trail south out of Minoqcua is beautiful, weaving in and out of forested sections, and criss-crossing lakes. In fact this entire tour would follow various bodies of water along the way. In particular, the trail had some impressive bridges. Apart from the scenery, some highlights of the day were:
- a bridge beer stop
- Ice Cream shop on the trail!
- Pankow’s Bar – friendliest people we met, a dog that sat on a bar stool, and multiple offers of places to stay, best bar of the trip (on hwy 107 near Irma, WI)
- Bev and Tom’s bar down the road had a bar made of old empty bottles + 2 gals who won the gambling machines and bought us some rounds
- Council Grounds State Park – hospitality of the rangers when we rolled in after closing to find a campsite
Day 2 :: Thurs. July 2 :: Council Grounds State Park, Merrill, WI – O’so Brewing Tap Room, Plover WI (65 mi)
Thursday, we woke up, leisurely enjoyed some coffee at the campsite (thanks Jeremy!), then headed into town for breakfast, and just had a nice days ride to our destination, a hotel in the same commercial center as the brewery’s tasting room. Highlights of the day would be the neat Stevens Point trail system, and the brewery at the end of the day.
Fri. July 3 :: Plover, WI – Buckhorn State Park, WI (62 mi)
The ride to our overnight was very nice, including riding through potato field country, Jeremy asking someone who drove by how irrigation systems work, an excellent side of the road beer stop with a friendly butterfly, the scenery and roads, the supper club we stopped at for drinks, and then…the rain.
Only rain of the trip, we drug our feet perhaps too long at the aforementioned supper club, and just made it into the campground as the rain started, promptly building steam to a downpour. We just managed to get the tents up, (sort of…I managed to get about an inch of water in the lower corner of my tent, which was annoying until I stabbed a hole in the floor). Once again, Greg’s family came to the rescue. As they lived nearby, they picked up 3 soggy but happy campers, and went to Buckhorn Cafe for fish fry with us. Excellent food, and good company makes a little rain manageable. Food was good enough, we eagerly anticipated our return for breakfast. After dinner, we were dropped off at our campsite, and promptly went to bed as it was mosquito-pocalypse outside.
Day 4 :: Sat. July 4 :: Buckhorn State Park, WI – Wisconsin Dells, WI (36 mi)
We woke up, packed our damp gear, and headed to the Buckhorn Cafe again, for breakfast this time around. Perogies were a popular choice. As we didn’t have a particularly long day of riding ahead of us, we were in no rush, and lingered happily. A goal of the day was to hit the Garage Bar which is exactly what it sounds like, a garage that the proprietor turned into a bar. There we also made some friends, a common occurrence when you’re out riding around in WI. As usual, the roads and scenery did not disappoint.
We ended our day at the outskirts of the Dells, where Greg’s family had been nice enough to stage it for us. Then, as all good things do, our trip was over and we headed home to begin looking forward to next year.