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Several Trails And Pancho Packer

Hank – We hated to leave Ken, Nicole and the girls, but our adventure must continue. We crossed the Fox River via the Trestle Trail to Menasha. Then we worked our way north and east to the Newberry Trail. From there we got on the CE trail where we happened across the Recyclist Bike Shop. We stopped for ice cream and a cold drink in the coffee shop connected to the shop and also met Lora, owner of the bike shop. She was excited to hear about our quest and asked if we needed anything done for our bikes. Lora and Kathy talked for quite a bit. We also met another gentleman who advised us to take the Fox River Trail to Green Bay because there is construction and detours along the route we planned. It added a handful of miles but it was worth it. The trail was hard packed for the first seven miles we were on it and then paved for the last twelve. I’ve been very impressed with Wisconsin’s trails, bike lanes, and overall bike friendliness.

We arrived in Green Bay hot and tired. It was 50+ miles today. We went straight to a hotel where we’re staying for two days. Yep, we’re taking a rest day. Green Bay’s training camp starts in three days and this year marks the 100th season of football for the Packers so there are tons of events for the public being set up. If you ever want to see football as a religion, come to Green Bay. After cleaning up Kathy and I walked the three blocks to Lambeau Field. We had dinner and drinks inside. Then we went for a walk and wandered around the stadium to another parking lot where we ran into Tony Ortiz, a Packer super fan. Tony is a retired 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. He and his wife now live in Colorado Springs. He came here for training camp and the 100th season festivities. He’s a shareholder, which he explained doesn’t mean much other than he paid $300 for one share back in the 90s and he got a cool framed certificate to hang on a wall. Tomorrow is the shareholders meeting in the stadium and something like 14,000 of them will attend. Tony has gone on four Caribbean cruises set up just for Green Bay fans where some players attend and are available to meet and greet and do Q&A sessions. Tony also wears a pancho and yellow sombrero to games and he’s often a target of the television cameras. A photo of him made it in a book about the team and their fans. And his Packers ring is also a bottle opener. He’s more of a fan than many Wisconsin natives.

Kathy – After a Kringle breakfast treat (a Scandinavian pastry) and much more wonderful conversations we had to leave Ken, Nicole, Grace and Audrey.  We miss them already.  They are such great people and we are grateful for all their hospitality.  We are hoping sometime in the future they will come to Spokane so we can host them and show them around our neck of the woods.

So onward we rolled, 49 miles to Green Bay, Wisconsin!  The Green Bay Packers are my #2 favorite football team, just behind the Seattle Seahawks so I was excited to arrive here. It is truly amazing the energy this city transmits and it is hard not to get caught up in it.  The history of the Packers is very interesting and going to Lambeau Field is like walking on sacred ground.  I am looking forward to seeing and learning more tomorrow. Craig (one of my favorite healthcare leaders) and Neil (one of my favorite co-workers) both grew up in the area and gave us some tips on where to visit during our time here.  We will explore more tomorrow on our day off from riding.  Another great day of riding, meeting new people, and seeing cool sights…life is good!

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