Just Left Belgium, Denmark’s Gotta Be Around Here Somewhere

When you think of Wisconsin, what do you think? Cheeseheads, cheese curds, the Packers, Governor Scott Walker? Naw, you meant to say red barns. It’s the ferrous oxide (iron) that was mixed with linseed oil, milk, and lime that made the barns rust colored according to this WideOpenCountry article, Why Barns Are Red.

I reckon this one was about five miles distant from my lodgings in Green Bay. I just really wanted you to see a picture of a barn in Wisconsin.

On the road into Green Bay

Earlier, that morning, back in the breakfast room of the EconoLodge in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, I woke up to find myself among a cadre of fellow bikers (sorry, this is Wisconsin, I meant “cyclists”). The EconoLodge was an upgrade from the Belgium Inn.

Maybe because the Belgium Inn was in Belgium, the desk clerk had to run across the street to buy a bag of ice to fill my ice bucket. The EconoLodge had ice which I fetched from the ice machine, manufactured in all places, Manitowoc, by famous ice machine manufacturer, Manitowoc! Manitowoc, if you’re listening, send a representative down to the Belgium Inn (it’s only 35 miles south) right away.

I recognized the cycling crew, told them they had passed me in the last 7 mile run into town, how I had tried to catch up with them so I could tuck in behind and draft them (“suck on their wheels”), and how I backed off, having second thoughts, wondering how little they might welcome a parasite. They laughed. “Oh, you should have said something. We would’ve slowed down.”

They had come up from Cedarburg, home of the “Mit Schlag” coffee drink (espresso with whipped cream slapped on top) and now were headed back.

The great thing about the EconoLodge, besides the ice machine, was breakfast! It was my first sit down breakfast on my journey. I drank the coffee even though it was dispensed by a machine, nothing was “brewed” or “slow-dripped”. It tasted great!

Of course, you never know when you start pedaling, when exactly you’re going to pass by the Manitowoc County Airport and spy this strange looking aircraft. Or is it a turtle with wings?

1947 Republic Seebee

Forget about saddling up here. You’re too late!

Saddle Up Saloon Has Gone Belly Up

My geographical sense is not overdeveloped. Nothing suggested to me that, having so recently stayed in Belgium, I would soon be passing through Denmark. Then, I saw signs announcing its approach on the Devil’s River’s Trail.

What followed was a brilliant marketing campaign, as savvy as the Route 66 signs for Stuckey’s or White Fence Farm or Meramec Caverns. You know the kind, those that create great drama out of the winnowing distance between the family station wagon “Only XXX miles to go.” and “Don’t miss…” and a commercial Mecca. The brilliance of these signs were that they didn’t not only mark even miles, they marked a a mile minus a quarter of a mile. It was completely unnecessary and completely the work of persons with an exquisite sense of humor. Plus it really made me want to see “Denmark”.

Allas, Denmark didn’t seem to live up to the hype. It was no Cedarburg. No Mit Shlag, no nuttin’.

The day was challenging—there were cross-winds, head winds and gusts—but the temperature was low around 70, mostly delightful!

Tech Corner

My sports watch has a fancy indicator Garmin calls a “body battery”, which the watch synthesizes from other metrics it collects, viz. heart rate variability, sleep quality, and stress. This morning it measured 59 which though is just in the “okay” zone was the best reading I’ve seen so far on the trip. I’m used to seeing a number north of 80 on any day at home. By the end of any my biking days, my body battery is bottom out at five, a sure indication (among many others) that the rider is spent. So I was thrilled to see 59 at the start.

My body battery August 22nd.


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