Hank – The rain woke me up occasionally during the night, but we stayed dry. The rain held off in the morning until we got packed up. As we left Coloma the rain gradually picked up the pace until it became a deluge of near-biblical proportions. After 15 miles we stopped in Wautoma and sat our soggy bottoms in a booth at a Mexican restaurant that serves a great breakfast. Ten miles later we arrived at the Econo Lodge in Redgranite. As I unloaded my panniers I found I was smart to leave the garbage bags in them. Once again I had huge puddles in the bottom of each bag. We unpacked all purpose stuff, took showers, and the spread stuff all over the room to dry.
A little while later our friends Andy and Michelle and their five children stopped by to see us. We had a great visit with them. The kids are growing so fast and they’re all so cute and fun.
After Andy and Michelle got back on the road, Kathy and I waited out the rain for a couple of hours and continued working on drying everything. We had a long enough break in the rain to run to the laundromat and get our clothes done. Tomorrow we’re visiting the Experimental Aircraft Association museum in Oshkosh. And we’ll be spending the night at a Warmshowers host.
Kathy – We rode a total of 29 miles today, most of it in the rain. It was raining so hard at times it was hard to keep the rain out of my eyes. I do not have a pair of non-prescription clear glasses and it was too foggy to wear my sunglasses so I frequently squinted to avoid so much water getting into my eyes. I should have bought those cute $8.00 Buddy Holly glasses when we were at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa a few weeks ago. They would have been perfect to shield my eyes from all the rain and car/truck mists, and the black frames would have given me a little ‘cool’ look too. I could feel the rain stinging my face, hands and legs as we rode. As the rain poured off of us I could fell the puddles of water in the toe portion of my bike shoes. My shoes were so soggy that every time I pedaled I could feel the water slosh about around my feet. I failed to completely zip up the front of my rain jacket, then after a while I noticed my bike jersey was soaked.
I saw lots of dead frogs again today on the sides of the road, but today I also saw two live ones hopping around. I am hoping they don’t get run over by the cars/trucks. Unfortunately they hopped too fast and I couldn’t save them like we saved the turtle on the side of the road in Nebraska. The shoulder on the side of the road was pretty narrow. We were being very careful as the cars and trucks passed by us and almost all of them were courteous and moved over on the road away from us as they passed by. The spray from the cars and especially the trucks engulfed us and at the end of our ride we were totally drenched. I asked Hank a few times during the ride, “Are we having fun now?” and “Every one wants to be like us, right?” Regardless of getting so wet today I must say I actually enjoyed it (well, except the stinging rain). It was a warm rain so it actually felt pretty good and kept us cool.
We stopped by a grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. The cute, young gal fully of energy at the deli was answering my question about cheese curds. I didn’t know what they were but they are all over Wisconsin. She informed Hank and I that, “Wisconsin is famous for cheese, bratwurst, and beer” and cheese curds were like a cheese stick. So we tried the cheese curds. They were ok, they are literally chunks of cheese that is a bit salty. I think I will stick with regular cheese or cheese sticks though.
The highlight of our day was visiting with Michelle, Andy and their five beautiful children. It was so wonderful for us to meet up as they were traveling to Pennsylvania. Omg, I could just kidnap those adorable children. I can’t wait until we have grand babies. They are going to be so spoiled. I absolutely loved seeing them and wished we could have had a few days with them to just play and enjoy time with them. They are just too funny and precious. Michelle and Andy are pretty sweet too. 🙂 Seeing family and friends along the way is the icing on the cake of our travels. Overall, even with the rain I would call it a five star day!