This summer the awe is focused on architectural detail on very old buildings. Fortunately I have had the privilege to spend a bit of time this summer in some older Main Streets and town squares. Above is a very rudimentary explanation of a few parts. In researching and spending time on this photo my awe compounded for the details over each window. This building is spreading it’s joy in Sparta WI. They have done a good job on revitalization on Main St. Here are a few more from Sparta. (Do not ask how long it took to insert the text to the above photos)
Here are two more from Trempealeau just off the Mississippi River on the Great River Trail on the WI side. Shout out to the Masons your symbol is loud and proud since 1895.
Baraboo WI has got some beauties. Chicago people take the drive, there is something for everyone in this area.
Here is a Flat Iron style building and a lovely residence in Wisconsin Rapids
Please welcome this agricultural architectural diversion to a restored round barn north of Wausau WI. It is available to host big parties and weddings FYI.
Close to home here in our summer escape is a building in Beloit. Am I incorrect if I call Art Deco ? Please comment if you have feedback.
The next block is from the Natchez Trace.
A visit to Tupelo is not complete without a visit to the 2 room shack where Elvis was born. It is indeed much smaller than it looks.
We will wrap up with a few from St Augustine FL where it all started in 1585 with some Tiffany stain glass. I hope you learned some new terms and if you wander into an old downtown you have a delightful experience looking up.
Keep the summer frolic going and as always sending much love to all. NW
In early May we went to St Augustine FL to greet this year’s Coast to Coast (capital C !) riders from Timberline. They rode the Southern Tier which is San Diego to St Augustine -3000 miles of 2021 fun.
When the group departed vaccines were few and far between and the country and the tour operator were in transition from 2020. Texas had the big weather event and recovery from that plus evolving ways to remain safe made everyday a different challenge. Hats off to this group on the brave decision to start riding in early March.
The excitement of the loved ones as they rounded the last corner was terrific. Families, friends and pets were getting back together after 2 months.
The toes went into the sand, the front wheels were dipped in the Atlantic and the bubbly flowed. There were lots and lots of hugs and huge smiles. On a very special note Debbie and I were the family stand-ins for Mr. Tom Gray from Vermont. We were so happy and proud of the whole group but Tom was our special guy for the day.
Having made an attempt at this ride last year, getting to El Paso with most of these riders I was so elated for everyone. A special shout out to Bella the border collie who did quite a few miles with her owner Tim who pulled her trailer.
Everything is possible. To quote a good friend “The time to get to your bucket list is while you still can.”
Start dreaming, keep dreaming. What’s it going to take to make it happen ?
The miracle is always the courage to start. Love to all.
In April my first post Vax break out was a trip to Texas to check in on this year’s Southern Tier bike coasters and participate in Adventure Cycling supported camping bike tour. The bluebonnets were putting on a great show. The coasters did a great job in getting through Texas. This year there were added challenges of a new tour operator, covid closures and impact from the weather event in February.
Our tour began outside of New Braunfels on the Guadalupe River. Within the first 15 miles a rancher was having an early morning concert for the horseys. The next night we camped at the Pedernales River. We had a few nights near the wine country in Fredricksburg. The last night was on the Blanco River. Near a boot fence we were up real high and just for fun in the middle of a long hot hilly bike day we were encouraged to do a big hike up Enchanted Rock. In Texas go big or go bigger !
Next is a little video of the Blanco River road. In Texas due to flash floods the roads have water crossings. There is a 12 foot water gauge next to the crossing. Instead of the road staying flat and the water going under the road they slope the road sharply down to the river bed in a valley shape . Sometimes in the crossing there is mud, high water etc. To figure this all out on a bike that is going downhill quickly is a heart rate spiker. It had rained the previous night so I was thrilled this one was not flooded. I had hoteled the previous night so I was packed up quickly and first rider out to be the guinea pig.
On the way home I checked in on the coasters who had successfully made it to Louisiana. A bonus of the trip back was a stop at Fanning Springs near Gainesville.
My heart is full of gratitude. Thanks for following. Love to all. NW
My beloved readers it has been a year and a half since we last caught up. I am so happy to check in that all is well and the adventures are back on.
While things were still restricted I enjoyed a great Space Coast (FL) bike tour with the wonderful perk of spending a week with Liz and Les from C2C last year. We had a great week exploring the area and eating some great meals with Bubba’s tour.
Debbie came a few days early and we enjoyed a night SpaceEx launch and some beautiful riding on our anniversary.
Immediately after my Vax safe date I had a really wonderful time in Texas Hill Country connecting with this year’s C2C and riding an Adventure Cycling camping tour. Not sure if it was finally getting out but it was one of my absolute favorite tours. Bluebonnets everywhere. That part of our country is really fabulous and checked off The Alamo. Ladybird Johnson’s mission to plant roadside wildflowers and deter litter was a total win for Texas.
On the way home I discovered a beautiful FL fresh water spring.
You may want to check out the Polarsteps app and find and follow Nancy Wentink. It is a much quicker and reliable way for me to post quickly on the road and load pics without a good signal. I have a few new adventures there now. Check it out. https://www.polarsteps.com/nancywentink
I will return here for some additional updates from 2021. The Polarstep is working so well to post the bike trips I hope you can make it work.
In March 2022 I hope accomplish the Coast to Coast Southern Tier. This goal has been on the schedule for 6 years and it is time to get it done !! I plan to go on Womantours and it will be all hotels. Sorry …..tents and remote bathroom, you are not in the plans.
In the meantime I have a little more running to finish the 50 states and a swimming trip to Greece with fabulous friends and my beloved green caps. Trying to do three things at once keeps the washer and kitchen busy. My friend the party is Always in the back of the pack. Keeping it festive and fabulous.
Greetings readers. Thank you for enjoying this beautiful picture tour taken last summer-the covid summer-of some beautiful barns on the roads of Walworth and Rock County Wisconsin. My pal Trudy referred D and I to a virtual cross country bike challenge. The idea was to bike from Memorial Day to Labor Day and accomplish the mileage on I-40 to go from North Carolina to California. The daily average was plus or minus 25 miles a day. You could skip a day but the next day would have to be double. 25 miles is a lovely distance to ride daily. You can see we had a sunny summer and the barns put on a great show. The simplicity of just biking everyday and a few jig saw puzzles filled the summer.
This post got lost in a draft file so it is even more fun to enjoy a year later. The picture with the bike leaning on the silo was at the final mile of the challenge. That particular farm is abandoned and truth be told the fantasy of buying it in a tax sale was a winter ponder. City girls best stick to riding fancy bikes on the paved roads and taking iphone pictures. Do I look like I could repair a huge rotting barn and crumbling old house ? Call the HGTV hosts please.
This summer the visual delights on the bike have turned to architectural detail on old buildings in downtown squares and Main Streets. More to follow on this topic after a bit more exploring.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.- Tecumseh
Day 2 of the central Florida fun fest started with perfect 70’ temps, great canopy out of the breeze and exciting brunch plans. Debbie started things rolling with a brisk pace down the trail with a 10 mile out and back goal. The hour passed quickly. We did a u turn back to the hotel and D went on the avocado scramble and pumpkin pancakes with cream cheese. hunting and gathering of a Brunch. Turkey Nan did a bit more riding and it was game on with Ms delicious.
The specifics on this 2 day gala are lodging at the older but spotless Central Motel in Inverness. $65 a night adjacent to the With. Trail. Yesterday was a kayak rental from Rainbow Kayak in Dunellon and lunch from the Blue Gator (scenic overlooking the Withalocooche River). Today brunch was from Cinnamon Sticks adjacent to the Central Motel. Other kayak rental options are at Rainbow Springs State Park at the headwaters /swimming hole and at the KP launch in Dunellon. Inverness has some excellent restaurants and the park surrounding the trail downtown was very lovely with a fishing pier, water overlooks, etc.
The initial plan was to do a hike in Croom near Brooksville on the way home tomorrow but home was calling after 48 hours away. That was enough excitement after 7 months of keeping it very close to the casa.
Keep moving forward, be well and remember outside is the best side.
When life gives you the stuck at home blues go kayak a beautiful Florida spring fed river.
It still hotter than the surface of the sun so we added a swim at the head spring that was refreshing and beautiful.
Wildlife was excellent on this trip. Double breasted cormorant, Great Blue Heron and tons of turtles taking a suntan.
The beloved Debbie navigated us perfectly to the take out location and a wonderful feast at the Blue Gator.
It’s real. It’s central Florida. Tomorrow the adventure quest is a few hours biking under the canopy of the Witholocoochee Trail. Rumor has it there are pumpkin pancakes and omelettes in that crystal ball too.
Thanks for following, stay outside and inspired and keep moving forward.
Today was the first and (hopefully last) Covidman triathlon at Ft. Desoto. The race consisted entirely of someone whose name rhymes with Clancy Fendrink.
There is a new policy of a locked gate at the park until 7 am so this o dark hundred early bird did a shuffle run on the causeway and in the camping area in front of the gate until it opened. It was a gorgeous morning with a stiff breeze.
The kite surfers loved the conditions provided excellent entertainment during the bike portion.
Part of the park is on Tampa Bay. Here is a freighter headed out to the Gulf. Please trust me when I tell you it was massive.
For the swimming portion the water looked lovely.
I was about to capture jumping in all hot and sweaty after a run and a bike. I guess this was a reverse order tri. Anything to not run in 90’.
But a little fin appeared right in front of my swim course.
The swim portion of the Covidman was moved to the shower near the parking lot.
The park is one of my favorite places to play. 10 miles of beach, road, paved trails, some sand trails and enough great views to keep you busy forever. I managed 3 hours or so of jolly time and then it was home to my girls.
Deb was doing zoom yoga in the living room and Sammie was looking for snacks.
There are rumors we may attempt to tent camp at the park so that will most certainly be blog worthy. If you are climbing the walls with boredom go find a park and poke around for the day. It is the 2020 version of a vacation getaway.
13.1 because at the moment 26.2 is an alternative reality. This was a virtual event because of the C word. First and last place finisher’s name rhymes with fancy.
The skies were beautiful and the early morning peace was a treat. 13 miles was a challenge but in this neck of the woods the scenery never disappoints. The woke yard in Cortez village was thought provoking. My favorite was the don’t take me to your leader-I come in peace. Insert snarky comment regarding alternative reality here and please do find your best way to vote
This was a virtual event to save the orcas. There was a t shirt and a matching medal. Reality provided a toasty humid day but orcas deserve our best efforts.
When doing the Cortez loop from Coquina my guilty pleasure is doing the last bit on the sand and then jumping into the Gulf clothes and all. After 9 years living here this routine never gets old. Best of all it entices one to get back out there another day and do it again.
Last week paradise was invaded by big jellyfish. Today the coast was clear. One dolphin came very close to shore having brunch. Mission accomplished and breakfast picked up on the grub now app. Thank you essential workers.
Hope this gave you a little diversion and you are well and safe. Sending love to all especially the orcas.
We celebrated the 4th with a section of the Glacial River Trail. Loved the red white and blue barn. The Rock River and Little Crawfish River were looking good.
Indeed it is possible to get lost on a bike trail. We were very successful at that when the trail meandered thru Ft. Atkinson and again when the Glacial Drumlin Trail intersected.
We are both enjoying the virtual bike challenge for the summer. At home we have congestion in Sarasota to the south, Sunshine Bridge to the North and of course that little pond the Gulf of Mexico to the West. The ability for us in Wisconsin to go any direction with virtually no traffic is sublime.