Day 30 – Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail

6/25/19 : Clam Lake, WI to Saynor, WI - 96.4 miles

At 5:45 am, I got up and looked out the motel window at blue sky! We ate our usual breakfast and rode off at 6:45 am from Clam Lake. We rode east on Hwy 77 past lots of wetlands and forests. An especially beautiful pasture - an abandoned dairy farm - filled with yellow buttercups caught our attention. After 14 miles, we reached Hwy 13 and rode south for 3 miles to Glidden and had breakfast number two.

In nine more miles, we turned east at Butternut, named for a close relative of the black walnut tree. We biked on CR F and CR FF for 28 miles, mostly through deciduous forest and past tamarack swamps. The road passed by the multi-square mile Turtle Flambeau Flowage but we saw virtually nothing of it. Finally, at about 2 pm, we reached US Hwy 51 and turned south. In a few minutes we rode into Mercer and ate lunch (including a pint of ice cream) on a picnic table in the warm sun. Well fed, we continued south, mostly on a paved bike path along the highway to Manitowish, then to Manitowish Waters. Betsy called Mary, who offers bikers-only accommodations at the Corner Store two miles east of Saynor.

We decided to take Mary up on her offer of an indoor place to stay. After buying a half/gallon of chocolate milk, we headed east following first CR W then CR K in the Heart of Vilas Country Bike Path. Well designed, well constructed, and well maintained- it ran for 13 miles to Eagle River, then 8 more miles south to CR N. The photo shows Betsy checking the mileage to Eagle River. At Eagle River we bought food for breakfast and topped off the air in our tires at the Coontail Bike Shop.

After our pit stop, we headed south on the bike trail. The bike trail needed better signage in some locations. At CR N, we turned east and 5 miles later, aided by a tail wind, arrived at the Corner Store. Mary showed us our well-appointed quarters. After showers, we wolfed down pizza and beer for dinner. As we ate, a thunder storm rolled in. We felt grateful to be inside, dry, and away from the bugs. After 30 days of biking, we’ve covered 2,150 miles!

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