Hayward, WI

July 1, 2010 5:58 am

Yesterday, as we were packing up outside the Ambrose Motel, I met an interesting woman. Her name was Laura, and she was temporarily living in the Ambrose, as she was between jobs. She rode a bicycle, and seemed very much into health and natural foods. Although she had grown up in Cumberland, she sounded more like a Californian than a Wisconsinite. Laura gave us directions to a wonderful food co-op in town, right next to a bakery. I asked if I might take her picture, but she balked. She said it never comes out the way she envisions herself. Maybe she’s like the salt monster in Star Trek – some kind of hypnotic screen that makes her look different. A positive attitude is always beautiful.


Elliot and I were in room 3. The white furniture outside is what Laura had set up as a pleasant sitting area.

We rode down to the Island co-op store, and I got a pound of peanuts, and a pound of Judy’s trail mix. We also got a couple items from the bakery, but Elliot felt like a hot breakfast with eggs.


Judy’s trail mix contains peanuts, cashews, almonds, raisins, and carob chips.

Down the street, there was a Cafe called “Our Place,” where we each had the Our Place Breakfast. I think we learned to always just order the biggest thing – we don’t want a repeat of the hunger coming out of Osceola. I asked the short order cook / server about taking Highway 63, a straight shot into Hayward, rather than following the circuitous Adventure Cycling Route. He said that it should be fine, and that yes, there were towns to stop at along the way (important for water and food). In doing so, we would save about 10 miles of riding.

Along the way, we passed several small towns, but did not stop. We passed Shell Lake, but it was too early for lunch, so we only stopped briefly to take a picture.


The beach at Shell Lake. It’s not white sand like Hawaii, but a brownish sand/dirt mixture.

We stopped at Spooner for lunch. At least I think it was Spooner. Since we were off-route, I can’t check my map. It was a large town, with banks and businesses – maybe a population of 1500 or so. We went into a Thrift store there. I was looking for a T-shirt related to Wisconsin. It had to be white. I was cooking in my God Is Still Speaking shirt on account of the black picture on the back. I only brought 2 shirts, including the one I was wearing. The store did not have anything white with local content unfortunately, but had these 50-pound bags of corn and sunflower seed for sale. Corn is $8, sunflower $14. It’s like a month supply of deer food, or 2 year’s supply of squirrel food.


Proceeds from the feed sale went to a volunteer organization

After splitting a foot long at Subway, we continued on 63. At one point, it merged with highway 53, and a sign said 27 miles to Hayward. That’s when the shoulder started getting annoying. It was smooth, except that every second or two, Ka-CHUNKA, we would hit a crack. It was jarring. I wasn’t looking forward to 27 miles of ka-chunka.


I discovered that the more green grass there was in the crack, the bigger it was, and the harder the jolt

Remember that trail mix we got back in Cumberland? Here’s what it looks like after being in a hot handlebar bag:


Elliot said it was like candy clusters, and didn’t seem to mind

We reached Hayward at about 5:30 or so, and found a bargain at the Quik-Stop – pizza slices for a dollar on Wednesdays.


We pulled into the local KOA 3 miles north of town at 6:20 pm. We got a tent site, right next to the Outdoor Kitchen with electricity, stove and sink (it’s where I’m blogging from right now). The whole campground has Wi-Fi, of course. Breakfast is being served in about 20 minutes. Maybe I’ll type more later.

Okay, I’m back. This KOA is amazing. They have an Ice Cream Social every night, a giant bounce structure, gem panning, wagon ride, water slide, volleyball net, horseshoes, and a laundry. This is the kind of place meant for small kids, and in fact, it’s mostly families here.

We did 55.2 miles yesterday. My odometer only says 158, because I had to reset it in Cambridge after it dried out. To get our true total mileage, add 427 to that figure.


  1. Mona Schorow says:

    Great to see and hear that you’re both doing well. What’s the temp and humidity? Hopefully, cool days will prevail.


    • roderick says:

      Hi, Mona!

      The weather is perfect. About 65 degrees in the morning, which the locals don’t consider cold, rising to about 80 in the afternoon. Humidity is less than 70%. It’s a big change from a week ago, when it was hot and muggy. And the wind is mild, and mostly at our back!

  2. Marlene Giermann says:

    Ralph and I enjoyed visiting with you at the Big Fish night clut in Beno, Minn. We thought of you the next day as it was rainy in the area–hope you missed most of it. Safe travels. marlene

    • roderick says:

      Yes, I remember you well. We did get wet the next day, but that’s part of the adventure. If you haven’t looked at the entry for Bena, please do – I think you’ll see yourself on that one. Thanks for the good thoughts!

  3. Grandma says:

    I am glad to hear from you. I hope you will meet a lot of nice people. Take good care of yourselves. Go to visit churches on the way. I’m always praying for you.

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Mom.

      Yes, I remember on my 1988 trip, you and the Wednesday night group at KEC prayed for me every week, too.

      I hope you’re doing well. Will we see you in August?


  4. Uncle Mitchell says:

    Have fun on the road. Life is a journey.
    Who’s taking care of your snake?

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Mitchell.

      Elliot’s cousins are taking care of Sizzle. Did you notice, we visited Fargo Plymouth UCC our second day of the trip? Actually, it was not that similar to Montebello Plymouth.

  5. Marybeth says:

    I can’t believe how many big fish “statues” are where you have been—must be a good business for the “big fish makers”! I noticed three whoppers so far.

    I think I am hitting a key that makes my message send before I am ready–sorry for the redundancy. Not TRYING to be obnoxious. Have a great time.

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Marybeth!

      Hope you don’t mind, I moved your comment to Hayward, where I think you intended it to be.

      Yes, fishing is the main tourist activity in the summer, since there are so many lakes here. The 2nd tier activity is hunting. In the winter, it’s snowmobiling and ice fishing.

  6. Jethro Chan says:

    Cyclists like us realize lots of weird things, like crack in the road, that 4 wheelers don’t ever realize they even exist!

  7. Eugene Young says:

    Hi, Roderick and Eliot:

    Thank you for doing the blog and photos. Its like taking a biking trip with you, and not having to do the work!

    It sounds like a special time to spend with your son. Great idea, stay safe, and watch out for those potholes!

    Cousin Eugene

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Eugene! My Dad’s cousin.

      I just sent the announcement of the blog to pretty much everyone in my mailing list, didn’t really expect you to tune in. But I’m so glad you did!

      Thanks for commenting.

      People here say the weather is hot, but it’s only mid-80’s with some humidity. In other words, normal Hawaii.

      Take care,