Thursday, July 9, 2020

Madison, Wisconsin, Bicycle Trails Everywhere

July 9, 2020

Hi there!  I made it safely to Madison, Wisconsin.

I am sitting writing this in Kathi's den.  She has a separate window air conditioner for this room so there is less air exchanged with the rest of the home.  I keep having to remind myself to put my mask back on so I don't contaminate her space... just in case.

She made me a lovely koozie for my water bottle. 

Last I wrote I was at a campground with Wifi in Goodfield, near Peoria, Illinois.

As I was packing up I saw this lovely bug on my van.




As you can see my van got covered in dust at the Timberline campground.  There is a drought going on and a lot of four wheeled carts speeding down the gravel drives.

First I drove the back roads to Janesville, WI.  My son Jeremy and his wife Mel live there.  They showed me around the yard where Jeremy has been working to clean out fallen limbs and Mel has been weeding the flower beds.

Because Jeremy is sensitive to heat and it was over 90 degrees, they invited me inside.  We sat at a distance and kept our masks on.  No hugs, I have been traveling and they both are working through health issues.


I had decided now was  a good time to pass on some of my photo albums with pictures of Jeremy as he was growing up.  He has an interest in the family history now and would like me to document what I know about my parents' ancestry.  We visited for awhile and then they ordered sandwiches from Jimmy Johns to be delivered.

Thanks for the visit and the lunch, Jeremy and Mel!

When I got to the Lake Farm Campground I discovered my camping site had no trees.  It was HOT!

I set up camp and put up the Clam screen tent to provide some shade.  Then the wind started to blow, there was thunder in the distance.  It cooled off nicely.  I opened the car doors to let the hot air out.  And then realized the wind  was blowing so much I should probably prepare.  So I took the Clam down. 



 It rained nicely.  I participated in a Zoom happy hour with Sisters on the Fly.  But I couldn't hear much because the rain was so loud.


The next morning I got ready to ride.

I had arranged to ride early to beat the heat with my friend Kathi.  She lives in the area.  She also rides a recumbent trike.

When I arrived at her place she said it was going to rain in an hour.  So instead we went for a walk at the park close to her home.

Wisconsin has lovely wild flowers and in Madison, they have planted fields of them.  On our walk we could smell the sweet clover.  I love it!




Kathi showed me the best tree we could hug.  We both took a moment to hug the tree.  It is comforting.

After our walk we sat in some shade on her patio  The rain didn't come.


So we got on our trikes and rode to Culver's for an early lunch.  Due to COVID, Culver's no longer has inside dining, but they actually came out to the patio and took our orders!  Every restaurant is having to adjust and figure out how to continue to survive.

Their patio was surrounded by an fence and potted plants.  A very nice space.



The gardens in Wisconsin are lovely.



Madison, WI has been adding bicycle trails for many years.  It now has quite a network of trails and at one point they call five-points there is quite a few trails that converge with the bridge of one over head.


It was a great ride. 

The afternoon was getting really hot.  Due to COVID I didn't want to spend a lot of time inside with Kathi.  I didn't want to chance infecting her if I had happened to pick up the virus somewhere.  I told her I may return later to use her internet, but it ended up being too hot.

I went shopping for a better outfit for swimming and showering outside.  My current swim suit had lost the flexibility in the elastic.  Since I am bending over to wash my hair, I didn't want things to fall out.  That could be embarrassing!  It is bad enough having to wash my hair and arm pits in public without showing off more than I intend.

I also wanted a stronger exercise band.  I only have one and for some exercises it is too easy.  But Walmart was sold out of exercise bands.


Hanging out in a store isn't like it used to be.  Every time I saw something I wanted to look at, or got the urge to just browse, I had to remind myself to get my business done and get out.  As it is, clothes shopping takes time.

I did notice that most of the customers and staff were wearing masks.  This county, Dane County, has just ordered that everyone wear a mask inside stores and businesses. 

I had heard that there has been a boom in bicycle sales since mid March when we started to physically distance from others.  Today I saw the empty display racks at Walmart.

Back at camp it was hot.  I made a smoothy using the Bullet blender that I bought on our trip in 2016.  I have used it twice already this trip and I am glad I have it.  I put in:

Blueberries
Banana
Romaine Lettuce
Chia Seeds
Peanut Butter
Dark Chocolate

YUM!

Then I took a shower using my hose and one of several spigots in the campground.  I had been told by the campground before I arrived that they were only allowing trailers that are self contained (have a holding tank).

I explained to them I have containers for holding water and containers for my bathroom waste and I preferred being by the trail.  They said I could come.

But I chose a spigot further away from the host's campsite just in case "self contained" doesn't allow for me washing my hair and such at the water spigot.

Once cooled off I uploaded pictures.   I called a couple friends in the Waukesha area to arrange to visit with them.  I am going there on Friday.

I got a text from Roger P.  He has been reading this blog and messaged me via Facebook.  He said he would love to ride with me!  Pretty cool!  We arranged to meet early in the morning (6:45) and ride.

I wanted to ride to downtown Madison where there had been protests and property damage after the George Floyd murder by a policeman in Minneapolis.


 I think I forgot to mention that when I was at the Sisters on the Fly event I found this purse at my site when I returned from my kayak ride.  Robyn F. left it for me!  She said it was my color.  She is the friend that introduced me to Sisters on the Fly.  Thank you, Robyn!


For now it holds my dirty clothes until the time and place is available to wash them.  Often I wash things by hand, but this morning I went to a laundromat.  I wore my mask when I entered the facility, but stayed outside while the machines worked.

*********

It is Thursday and I met Roger P. for a ride.   He is 80 years old and has had two strokes.  He was an avid road rider on a diamond frame bike, but now he rides a trike with e-assist.  There are not a lot of tricycle riders in the area.  I was glad to have him show me the trails and he was glad to have someone with whom to ride.

We passed a family of turkey with about seven cute babies.

Roger led us on the Capital Hill Trail toward the State Capital.

Then we rode down State Street where there are many artsy businesses, coffee shops, book stores, gift shops.  Most of them were boarded up after their windows were smashed during the protests.  Many have added lovely art to the boards.  It was a great ride.


I will share the pictures of the art on State Street in my next post. I am having trouble transferring them to this site today.

After our ride Rodger asked to purchase Alzheimer's Trippin' with George!   Thank you, Roger!


He said he is rebuilding a KMC trike with a square boom...  Google comes up with KMC components.  Maybe I misunderstood.  Maybe he meant KMX.


When Roger departed I found I was parked near an Anytime Fitness.  Gyms are higher up in the COVID transmission risk category.  People in an enclosed space breathing hard is not good.

I walked up to the door and saw posted that everyone that enters is required to wear a mask. 

I put on my mask and told myself I wouldn't stay long.  I just need to exercise my back or it will start to hurt.   Fortunately there was no one on the aerobic machines.  There were about five people in the place.  None of them were wearing masks.  I disinfected my hands before and after, wore my mask the whole time, and didn't stay as long as I wanted to stay. 

There was also a Pic n Save by my parked car.  I picked up a few fruits and veggies.

I also got two small containers of mint-chocolate ice cream sundaes and brought them over to Kathi's house to share.  We sat on the patio and enjoyed our sundaes.

Kathi's daughter and family were going to visit this weekend and then head up to a cabin that is shared with cousins and extended family.  Kathi told me the cousins that were currently staying in the cabin found out that a co-worker of theirs has COVID.  So they have had to stay in the cabin to self isolate. 

So many twists and turns.  Do you know the story about Pandora's box?  Someone opened Pandora's box at the beginning of 2020 and we are riding through the hail storm as best we can.

Tomorrow ... Waukesha visit.

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