My Humid Ride to Packerland

“Honey,” I said to The Feeshko in my nicest voice, “remember how I didn’t get to go on my bike tour this spring?”

“Yeah . . . I remember that,” she replied.

“Well, I was thinking maybe I could take a quick four day bike trip next week in its place.”

“I don’t think so. The Corona Virus is still way too active.”

“I knew you were going to say that, but I have a great anti-covid plan.”

“What is it?” she asked with a little too much skepticism in her voice.

“Okay, here it is,” I began excitedly. “First of all, it’s only going to involve three nights . . .”

“Yeah, but . . .”

“No, hear me out on this. It will be ALL camping . . . wild camping. I’ll carry all the food I need so there will be no reason to have to enter a building of any kind. I will never get within six-feet of any other person, and most of the time I will be more like six-hundred feet or even six-thousand feet from anybody. I will have a bandana to cover my face though, in case of an emergency contact with humans, and I will wash my hands even more than I normally do while on a bike tour.” [I didn’t tell her that I normally don’t wash them all that often while on a bike tour.]

The Feeshko gave it due consideration and said, “I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like the right time to be doing this. What if you crash and the person who comes to help you has the Covid?”

“The chances of either of those things happening are extremely remote. You know that. At least give it some thought.”

“Alright,” conceded The Feeshko.


That conversation took place just a few days ago and I was getting my hopes up that she would relent. In fact, I was pretty confident she would and I started working up a plan to ride up and down the bluffs of the Mississippi River valley, beginning and ending from my home, in the most socially-distant way possible.

Then she twisted her knee and there was a popping sound. She went to her primary doctor who referred her to an orthopedic doctor who ordered an MRI which confirmed she had torn the miniscus in her knee.

Now, I’m not suggesting she PURPOSELY did that to ruin my new plan. I mean, nobody would subject themselves to that kind of intense pain, walking on crutches, and impending surgery. Would they?

“So, do you think I could maybe do that bike trip real quick before your surgery,” I said, only half-jokingly.

NO!”


I guess my consolation prize was today’s ride to Wisconsin. Could the year 2020 get any worse?

Those hills on the horizon are in Wisconsin.


Still in Minnesota, I appreciated about two miles of native prairie grassland.


And just before crossing into Wisconsin, I appreciated this trio of blue Garceaus. If only it was still July, where BLUE was all the rage.


Crossing the St. Croix River. Goodbye Minnesota, hello Packerland.


Nice boat.


This is downtown Prescott, Wi — Population: something like 4,000. Just for fun, see if you can find the two examples of radiation in this picture. Hint: they’re both on the right third of the photo.


Wisconsin was fun, but I was glad to be back on the bridge to the promised land–MN.


See how humid it is? See how sweaty I am? See how goofy I look?


And finally, a view overlooking MY Town from a 200′ Mississippi River bluff.


Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

16 response to "My Humid Ride to Packerland"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: August 13, 2020

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry – for both of you, really. Wish her luck from us with her surgery and recovery.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Thanks Scott. I’ve been passing along everybody’s well-wishes, and she appreciates them. But she apparently didn’t appreciate me blabbing to the world about her injury.

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: August 13, 2020

    Sorry about the Feeshko’s knee, but — based on the uncanny sense of deja vu your conversation with her invoked in my mind — I have a question. Do you think there is any chance the Feeshko and my ace support crew might be twin sisters?

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Let’s see: Protective, check. Worrisome, check. Difficult to convince, check. Supportive, check. Short in stature, check.

      Yup, they’re either twin sisters or visitors from the same distant planet.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: August 13, 2020

    So sorry to hear about the Feeshko’s knee and its consequences for you! Bad year! Bad month! Get well from me to the Feeshko, and maybe you should do something to make you really happy … a new bike?

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Thanks for the great idea, Suzanne. I’ll make a deal with her: Whatever she gets to spend on her surgery, I get to spend an equivalent amount on a new bike. I’m sure she’ll love that idea.

  4. By: BobinVT Posted: August 13, 2020

    What a bummer! Times two! I hope the Feeshko isn’t in too much pain, and can get through this as quickly as possible. By the way, I think Suzanne might be onto something with that new bike idea, though. I’m sure it would make you both feel better.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Bob, thanks for seconding Suzanne’s proposal. It gives me some reinforcement when I negotiate the deal I mentioned in my response to Suzanne.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: August 13, 2020

    Double Dang!! Sorry to hear about Freesko’s knee — your tour plan was well thought out.
    All the Best for her surgery and rapid recovery!

    What else could go wrong? Yikes! Let’s not ask!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Thanks for the rapid recovery wish for The Feeshko, and thanks for the Double Dang for me. And yes, let’s not think about what else could go wrong.

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: August 14, 2020

    I am sad for you, but much sadder for The Feeshko. It’s certainly not a time you want to be near, let alone in, a hospital. I hope all goes well and she recovers quickly! Perhaps there will be an even longer week long ride in your future in early autumn when the weather is nice 🙂 I have thought a lot about ways to ride that doesn’t require contact with others. I think taking along a paper towel or wet wipe supply to use on the handles of public water sources will work. I don’t think I’ll be using public toilets for a good long while… but I’m used to crapping in bags and carrying that out with me in places where it’s not appropriate to bury it. so I’m sure you’ve done that before, too. So water and toileting taken care of, food resupply risks can be minimized and wild camping takes care of sleep. So I think you would be good to go once The Feeshko has recovered!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      I am still holding out some hope of a short autumn tour after her recovery, but it will probably still only be four days and three nights. I don’t think I want to carry more than four day’s worth of food.

      I didn’t really give much thought to toileting because even when I’m touring in non-covid times I usually use the Great Outdoor Restroom — except when I’m staying in a motel, of course. But I like your idea of bringing a supply of wet wipes.

  7. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: August 14, 2020

    You’re spousal negotiation skills seem a bit rusty,,,did you promise a foot massage?. Wishing the Freeshko all the best and be a little braver entering Wisconsin, they’re very nice folks from what I’ve heard.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 14, 2020

      Yes indeed, I must be a terrible negotiator because when I promised she could give me a foot massage, our conversation seemed to take a few steps backwards.

  8. By: NancyG Posted: August 14, 2020

    Best recovery wishes for the Feeshko. And good adventure touring for you this fall. I have learned, a bit late, to never ask “what else could happen in 2020”!

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