Day 33, July 24
Madison, WI, to Belvidere, IL
Nearly everyone agreed that Madison was our best layover day so far. It's a university town, full of good restaurants and pubs within walking distance of our air-conditioned dorm. Many of us had family visiting to cheer us on. Elizabeth Preston's father, step-mother, and good friend were there. Dave Ramsey's sister and brother-in-law came in from Texas. John Fischer's wife, and my wife, flew in. Amy Lauterbach's parents and sister drove up from Evanston, Illinois. I suspect there were others I didn't learn about.
Ann and I spent the day touring Frank Lloyd Wright's residence, Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, less than an hour's drive from Madison. The tour guides were superb, the buildings were fascinating, and we learned a great deal about the eccentric, prolific architect and his working philosophies. Others toured the Trek bicycle factory and scored handsome Trek shirts.
Today we crossed into Illinois, our eighth state so far. The ride today for nearly everyone was 83 miles. For me, it was about 96 miles, thanks to misreading the cue sheet and heading south of our destination city, Belvidere. I finally worked my way back to the center of town and stopped at the City Hall where a helpful lady in the building permits department drew me a map to the camp where we're staying.
Into Illinois, state number eight with five more to go.
Tomorrow and the next day we are charging south around Chicago in Illinois and on into Indiana. Each day is 103 miles.