We slept in to 6:30 am and didn’t get going until 8 am. Today we began traveling north on US Hwy 63 under thick, gray skies. Before long, the predicted rain arrived. However, traffic wasn’t bad and the shoulder was adequate. In 20 miles we rode past Shell Lake where Betsy was nearly eaten by a giant walleye (see photo). We continued north to Spooner where we ate breakfast #2 and dried out a little. Onward we biked to Hayward, first going north on US Hwy 63, then merging with US Hwy 53.
US Hwy 63 veered to the northeast and we stopped at a visitor center for the Namakagon River. This 101-mile long tributary to the St. Croix River is also protected under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers program. At the visitor center, we met cyclist Carrie. She started at Anacortes like we did. However, Carrie had grown weary of the trip and was heading to Minneapolis to fly home. Betsy and I cycled along US Hwy 63 following the river toward Hayward. We saw little besides forest and occasional glimpses of the clear-water river. In Hayward we bought groceries and ate lunch at a playground. We rode northeast on Hwy 77 toward Clam Lake- past lakes and wetlands, almost always flanked by deciduous forest. After 20 miles, light rain resumed. We noticed half a dozen “Elk Crossing Zone” signs.
Evidently, the State wildlife folks had transplanted elk from elsewhere to this area. Just before reaching Clam Lake, the rain intensified. We rode the last mile to the combination gas station, convenience store, and motel, arriving soaking wet. We parked our bikes in a shed and paid for a room. It was a luxury to get clean and hang our wet clothes to dry. Dinner revived us. We’re happy to be inside this evening. Today, 6/24/19, we traveled from Cumberland, WI to Clam Lake, WI, a distance of 83.5 miles