|Outside of Westby|
Each year in fall, I tend to get a bit greedy with my time. When not at work, I try to spend every free moment outside. Knowing what's around the corner, my husband and I will often times get away for a few days to do some final rides--with bare legs and arms--and with any luck, tag on some hiking.
|still smiling after one of the hardest climbs I've ever done|
Second stop--Trempealeau. A cute little river town just North of LaCrosse. I had been here once while riding up to Minneapolis in 2003 and have visited a couple times since. Neither my husband or I had gotten a chance to ride the coulees or what the locals refer to as "hip breakers". Surprisingly, the riding, although still very hilly, wasn't nearly as intense as the Kickapoo region around Westby. Here, the valleys were wider, so after a long climb, we were treated to a long descent and then a few miles of flats prior to the next ascent. Once again, the scenery was breathtaking and we both fell in love with a town called Gallesville, which is known for it's apples.
|Outside of Perrot State Park|
|Riding along the Mississippi into Trempealeau|
The one consistent thing about both places is that it's easy--very easy--to get turned around or lost. We had three maps with us, the WI bike fed map, the WI Gazzetteer, and the local bike map. None of them helped us at several intersections and we ended up riding on instinct. Please note that we are both trained to read maps in wilderness areas. This, thankfully, got us through but know it's common for roads to change names, for there to be no signposts at an intersection or for whacky bends to occur that aren't listed. No harm done except for multiple huddles around the maps and a few added miles.
Both Westby and Trempealeau are now on our "must return to" list. In fact, I'm already thinking about all the other routes we could try. Ahhh...so much biking, so little time--if only summer could last a few more months!
|Amish farm outside of Westby|
|climbing to Galesville|