Trip Log – Day 39 –Madison, WI to McGregor, IA

Madison WI to McGregor IAJune 13, 2015 – Rainy then overcast, 65 degrees

Miles Today: 112

Miles to Date: 2,274

States to Date: 12

My first century of the trip! Not too difficult on a cool day with flat terrain and little traffic. Still, good practice for heading further west, where there will be more, harder ones.

I woke to birdsong and was riding the drizzly streets of Madison by seven. I rode through lovely residential neighborhoods and more of UW campus. When I passed Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unitarian Church, I stopped on a whim and pulled on the doors. They opened! I had a few quiet moments in the meeting hall, and rather like how the ‘altar’ area is like a huge hearth.

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I pedaled forty miles along U.S. 14, ‘the Frank Lloyd Wright Highway’, in various amounts of mist and rain. I wondered why ‘the biggest shoe store in the Midwest’ is in the tiny town of Black Earth, but I loved their whiffle ball field (85’ to the fences). The fertile earth truly is black. I skipped the formal tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin; the visitor center alone provided more reverence for the gifted megalomaniac than I could stomach. However, I enjoyed riding through the town of Spring Green to see how Wright’s influence played out, with varied success, in local buildings. Still, my favorite structure in the small town was a 1915 bank more elegant than any of the Wright stuff.

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IMG_2317When I turned onto Route 60 in Gotham, I could tell there would be few services ahead, so ate lunch at the only available place – a bar where a couple of Harley riders had already settled themselves into a rainy afternoon watching a loop of Weather Channel disaster stories. The waitress thought me ordering a Diet Coke lame, but she made a good pizza and I learned how to escape an avalanche.

After lunch the rain ceased and I had fifty miles of the most beautiful scenery of my trip; a meandering highway that followed the Wisconsin River west, with occasional portions through lush farmland. After almost two weeks of city to city along Lake Michigan’s urban corridor, I was far from people.

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Stopped for a snack at the local grocery in Wauteka and downed 32 ounces of Powerade plus a box of six ice cream sandwiches. I know, it’s disgusting, but they were so good. My gluttony turned out to be good planning. Many of the motels in Prairie du Chien were full, and the town wasn’t pleasant. So I crossed the mighty Mississippi and found a clean but remote motel in McGregor. After so many miles (and ice cream sandwiches), a hot shower and comfortable bed were the only amenities I needed.


About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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4 Responses to Trip Log – Day 39 –Madison, WI to McGregor, IA

  1. Adela says:

    funny references to the “megalomanic” Wright! Never knew you felt like that 🙂

  2. paulefallon says:

    An incredible talent, but such a weird guy…probably related.

  3. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!I’d most certainly donate
    to this oitstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for
    bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

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