Joey here. Another short haul: 57 miles to Marinette, Wisconsin. No rain today (where do you think yesterday’s rainbow came from?), plenty of daylight, but it is a good place to stop.
The road ran between Lake Michigan on our left, and state forest on our right. Shortly before we reached Menominee County, Michigan, Jeffrey’s watch clicked back an hour; we now are in Central Time.
We encountered few people along the way. There were three recreational bicyclists, one at a time; some folks working in the yards of the houses we passed; and the drivers of motor vehicles. Our interactions were limited to smiles and waves.
At day’s end, one rude punk in Marinette shouted out of his car, “Ride on the sidewalk!” This was on a four-lane road, Jeffrey keeps close to the curb, traffic was light, and the punk had a whole lane to himself. Later, Jeffrey looked it up: unless specifically permitted in a municipality, in Wisconsin it is illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk. We belong on the road!
Right after we entered Wisconsin, we met John.
John read the sign on the fairing and shook Jeffrey’s hand. He thinks pedaling from New York City to Wisconsin is amazing. Jeffrey said, “You could do it too, if you had the time.” John replied, “It would help if I stop drinking.” Jeffrey said it might help at that. Then John handed Jeffrey a wad of cash for Human Rights First.
We had other human encounters, of course: we never share them all. Yet today they were outnumbered by animal encounters. We scared up deer, turkeys, songbirds, hawks, geese, squirrels, and other animals. They’re accustomed to loud motor vehicles but are startled by the soft sound of a bike chain. As always, we passed a lot of roadkill, too: snakes, deer, raccoons, porcupines, possums, a fox, turtles, various birds colorful and dull, some fresh, some stinky, are part of the experience. Roadkill reminds us how close are the margins for all of us – not just cyclists – in whatever we do.
And in the solitude of the road, Jeffrey kept hearing Willie Nelson. Sort of.
Good morning, America, how are you? / Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son. / We Ride for Human Rights throughout the Heartland. / We’ll be gone thousands of miles when the Ride is done.