Coon Valley

Day One

Yvonne, Madeleine, Andre and I just completed our first ride in the Coulee Region of Wisconsin.  This area, also known as the Driftless Region, was untouched by glaciers, meaning that it was not leveled to a flat pancake like the rest of the plains.  Just 12 hours of driving from Steinbach and we are in another world.  The cycling is fantastic with endless paved roads, low traffic, a lot of rolling hills with a decent amount of longer climbs, and great scenery.  The main cultural attraction is the Amish, but there is also a strong Scandinavian influence in the area.

Wisconsin’s tourist department really promotes cycling.  Here in the Coulee Region they have created 5 routes, with four of them being around 65 km in length. The routes are entirely on county roads.   Besides riding these routes we also plan to ride the Great River trail along the Mississippi.  It is a dedicated trail and is paved.  Our motel, called the Hickory Hill is a bargain at 68 dollars/night.  The room is large and clean.  A Serbian couple from Chicago just bought the place five months ago. Very nice folks. It has a nice outdoor pool.  Just like in Arkansas at Spring Break, we are the only guests.  Unbelievable!  With the Bluegrass festival coming to Viroquia (the town we are in) this weekend it may fill up a bit more.  In the mean time we are enjoying the place to ourselves.  I give the hotel and the area the big thumbs up endorsement.

Day 3

Two more days of hard riding.  The coulees are fantastic.  Some really steep climbs to work the legs.  I enjoyed a good discussion about Serbian-Turkish history with the owner of our hotel. We both read the book Bridge on the Drina, and had a good discussion about the book, the bridge and what the Turks did to the Serbs.  He told me the reason the Serbs hate the Bosnian Muslims has nothing to do with race.  The Bosnian Muslims were originally Croats or Serbs who converted to Islam to avoid the persecution handed out by the Turks.  They won’t accept this betrayal.



4 thoughts on “Coon Valley

  1. Hmmm???—-about that motel. Is there a large old house nearby on a hill, where you can see an old lady pacing back and forth at night through a second story window? Is the first name of the hotel manager, Norman?? If so, be very careful and alert when you’re in the shower.

  2. Merle, that sounds wonderful. Wish I was there to ride, but maybe in August.
    You do know that the Black Hills are only 13 hours away from here, right? They have a few nice roads to ride, too. Much busier at this time of year, though. You’d have to go in spring or fall – after you retire!

  3. Sounds pretty sweet Merle. Thanks for the update. Now I really feel like riding to Richer, again 🙂 .

  4. Had another great day of cycling. In fifty + km of riding we met perhaps 10 cars. We had some nice steep climbs on today’s ride. On the friday before we left I bought a Norco CRD with compact gearing, courtesy of the Hutterites, for Madeleine. Good move Dad! Happy children = happy wife = happy Dad! Neil and Jim, I’ve already told the Serbian couple to expect a semi-blind German guy (Helmut), his back sliding Mennonite guide, and a retired choir boy ex-goat farmer at the hotel in September. You would definitely not be disappointed. As for you Ron, I’m just glad that MCC has you tied down so that you’ll have to join me in going back to work in September. You could of course try to raise some funds among the Amish; they are after all of Mennonite stock as well. In fact, maybe we could start another chapter of Mennonites in Tights out here in Wisconsin. As long as the bikes are human powered and the tights and bikes are all black.

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