I felt little motivation to dig into my bags for dry clothes, especially if I was going to get re-soaked straight away. I figured that the air was warm enough to rule out pneumonia and optimistically hoped that the weather would clear. I opened my jacket a bit to help air dry my shirt and got ready to leave. I was staying at Bozer's parent's place for the night. Two hundred and sixty more miles. A breeze if it stayed dry, a slow torture if not.
My luck held. I was still a sopping wet mess when I reached LaCrosse, Wisconsin, but at least the clouds had held, and none of it was new. I felt good again and dove from the interstate onto Wisconsin State Route 33. Heading from interstate to country road feels like sprouting wings. After a full day and a half on I-90, this was a fresh breath. On the interstates, you travel quickly, but the monotony and flatness make the time drag on at half-pace. You ride straight and fast, watching each tick of the odometer like a school kid in last period.
I rode through Amish Country, over wooden bridges and around fishhook turns. I stopped at a gas station and stretched my sore back over a pile of sandbags. Three kids in Amish uniform drank orange sodas, eyeing up the bike. The tallest of them spoke out, asking me how far I'd been, and where I'd planned to go. These are the kinds of encounters the traveling motorcyclist lives for. Theirs was a strict existence that denied such motorized luxuries, and I entertained several rounds of questions. We weren't much different really: me, all helmet and coffee; they, all straw hat and soda.
I never touched the interstate again, sailing into Sun Prairie on the beautiful patchwork pavement of Wisconsin 19. I was finally dry when I arrived, and just in time for dinner.
|Small Town, U.S.A.|