Day 78: Monday, September 20.
To our cousins, the Wilhelmys (Geoff, Kathy, John, Nicholas, Annie & Zachary) in LaCrosse, WI.  Short easy day along the Mississippi River on Rte 61, some along bike paths, bridge to Wisconsin, stop at bike shop for new derailleur (Catharine) and replacement water pouch for back pack (Rob); wonderful warm welcome and dinner and beds at Wilhelmy's. 32 mles.

Wilhelmy cousins:
L to R: Geoff, Zachary, Annie, Kathy,
John, (Catharine), Nicholas.

We rolled our bikes right
into the Cathedral School's libaray,
where grades 3,4,5, & 6
gathered to hear about biking across the USA.

Team starts with a map of the USA - natch.
Notice computer, already connected to Internet,
so we could show our website: bikenfly.org.

We called a halt after an hour,
answering questions such as:
How old do you have to be to do it?
Do we ever ride on the sidewalk?
Did we ever fight?

Some of Zachary's classmates
posed for pics with our team;
Zachary is at far right.

Day 79: Tuesday, September 21.
To Tunnel Trail Campground on Sparta-Elroy "Rail to Trail" Trail just west of Kendall, WI. Morning started with an hour's presentation about biking across USA to Zach's schoolmates (Grades 3,4,5,6 at the Cathedral School - loads of fun for us and seemingly so for very inquisitive kids); then rode about 50 miles along "rails to trails" - including the granddaddy of them all - the Sparta-Elroy Trail; the tunnels are long, wet, spooky and totally enveloping! 51 miles.

Here is a long-term holder
of Union Pacific stock
glad to find evidence of his investment
hard at work.

Another of Rob's Union Pacific investments
running past one of the marvelous
"rails to trails" in Wisconsin.

Entrance to one of the three tunnels
on the "Sparta-Elroy" trail
which was the first "rail-to-trail"
conversion in the country.

Day 80: Wednesday, September 22.
To "squatter site" on east bank of Wisconsin River at Merrimac ferry. Thirty more miles of trails (end of the Sparta-Elroy, then the "400" to Reedsburg); then state & county roads up & down the Baraboo hills to Merrimac and the free ferry ride across the river; mistook "wayside" for "campground", found out no overnight camping, but got permission from adjacent homeowner to pitch tents for night; fried fish dinner bought, transported and enjoyed at sunset. 68 miles.

On the free ferry
across the Wisconsin River
at Merrimac, WI.

Ferry shuttles back and forth
between river banks at sunset.

We had dinner from this diner
while watching ferry at sunset,
then breakfast the next morning;
we became totally addicted to diners.

Day 81: Thursday, September 23.
To Getschell's RV Campground on Koshkonong Lake near Edgartown, WI; County roads through farm land to Madison - a "big-city-university-town" lots of traffic and route uncertainties; got great maps and help from AAA on routes through SE WI; long day but great wind assist in PM.  71 miles.