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.
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.