I’m sitting in the Garden Pub in Lake Pepin and thinking I’ve hit the jackpot as far as vacation spots are concerned.
Galena, La Crosse, and every small river town I passed through today warrants an extra day to kick back and relax. The scenery is great and the ambience is vacation.
My tent is in a field under shade trees next to a shelter and close to the shower building. The rest of the place is once again acres of motorhomes, fifth wheels and trailers, most of which look like semi permanent seasonal places. Lake Pepin is a part of the Mississippi River and people come here to boat, sail at the yacht club and socialize. The trailer crowd appears to be here at the restaurant tonight, most 50 and over, sounding cheerful.
There is a shooting range nearby. I’m in America, you understand. For the naysayers who warned me about the gun problem here, particularly in Mississippi, no one has yet pointed a gun at me, I haven’t seen anyone pack a gun or shoot anything up, and I don’t get the impression that people are hiding in their houses, finger on the trigger, waiting for me to get too close.
Keep in mind that I avoid the dark hole of Calcutta bars that you find all over the world, and I go to bed between 9 – 10 pm.
Instead, I keep having positive experiences and feeling lucky.
For example, last night a seasonal camper came over to say he was heading home and asked if I was ready for the storm. He was leaving his truck open for me in case I wanted shelter.
Sure enough, at 8:30 it started raining, when I was ready to go to bed anyway, and then it poured and thundered and lightninged most of the night. Reported gusts of up to 70 mph. But in the morning it had stopped, I headed out in calm overcast, and the sun was back, with a tailwind, by 10 am.
It gets better. I go for groceries tonight, and step back outside 15 minutes later to find my bike wet from a passing shower. That’s my idea of the right way to have storms and rain.
In Alma, I was looking for ice cream to refuel for the last 20 miles, and saw a sidewalk sign. The woman gave me a biker’s discount, talked with me a while and then sent me off with a complementary bottle of chilled water, which was a great treat.
She didn’t pack a gun either.
And the place was a gorgeous little coffee shop, part of a boutique hotel, with a garden at the back that you could spend a lot of quiet time in.
The best part of the day was the 22 mile rail trail out of La Crosse, that gave me the most peaceful “away from it all” 2.5 hours of the whole trip so far. It was so quiet you could even hear the birds over the whine of the gnats and mosquitoes. 🙂 I met a biker here who wore a net over his entire head, but I guess I’ve got used to the little fellows.
Finally, I discovered Bud 55 at the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour in St Louis, along with the similar Miller 65. Both have calories equal to their name, by reducing the alcohol to 2.25% or so, which means I can enjoy a thirst quenching tasty drink without any alcohol effect, and leaving my new svelte body to continue to shed fat.
Me and Mick. We were both looking for satisfaction, and here it is.