We woke up early to get to the boat with plenty of time to spare. The SS Badger is an enormous steam engine ferry that crosses Lake Michigan.
It takes 4 hours to cross, but with the time change that happened mid-way, it was only three hours later when we arrived in Wisconsin. The ferry was equipped with cafes, a gift shop, an arcade room, and two little movie theaters, but we opted to read and sleep most of the ride. There was also a snack or two in there.
It was fascinating to watch the water as we pulled in to the dock, because about 50 gulls swarmed and began landing in the churning water. We realized that the boat was bringing lots of little fish to the surface, and I could sometimes catch a flash of silver before a gull swooped down to retrieve its minnow snack. Yum.
We met two other cross country bikers on the boat who were from New Zealand. They’d already been on the road for two months, having gone from New York to Bar Harbor ME and are now headed west!
Wisconsin earned my respect quickly, as within our first 10 miles we saw 3 Sandhill Cranes (I was so excited I forgot to get a photo) and a wildlife refuge area and nature center! There were more gentle rolling hills today, with lots of farms on either side of the road. Some of the cornfields we’ve been growing accustomed to lately were replaced by dairy farms. It didn’t feel like Vermont, but at times it certainly smelled like it!
We stopped to fill our water bottles at a bar in Potter, Wisconsin, which we now believe must be on the Adventure Cycling route. The only other person in there was a guy from Germany who was bike touring around parts of the U.S., and the woman who worked there was not in the least surprised to hear we are on our way across the country by bike. She did note that we were headed to a different destination for the day than what is typical for people coming through Potter, so more kudos to Al for helping us find the road less traveled!
Dinner came right after a swim in Lake Winnebago, and showers (!). We ate our can of baked beans and some rice that we’d been saving, and added meat, cheese, hot sauce, and our beloved garlic spice mix. It was certainly a bizzare combination of flavors, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now in the sixth state of the trip, we’re in our tent in a town park. And we’re happy after having eaten even more – cereal by the handful and chocolate for dessert!