Dubuque to Mississippi Palisades

Dubuque to Mississippi Palisades

Today was a rough day. The hills were steep, the good people of Galena seem to hate bikers, and I was chased by a goat.

View of our campsite right along the Mississippi
View of our campsite right along the Mississippi

First, the hills. There were a lot of them, and some of them were steep, really steep. 16% grade on one of them steep. This makes for pretty difficult riding if I do say so myself. Overall, today was not very scenic and it was all on roads, sometimes with shoulders and sometimes not.

Hills, here there and everywhere
Hills, here there and everywhere

The people of Galena. So here is the thing, coming into Galena there is no shoulder on the road so I have to ride in the lane. People are in a hurry so rather than waiting to pass me when there is no oncoming traffic as one would do when passing a car, people decide to crowd the center line and see if they can’t get by. This creates a situation that is extremely dangerous for the guy on the bike! The roads are filled with cracks and other obstacles that cause us to swerve that drivers of cars don’t even notice. when you only give me a foot of riding space that is not much room to maneuver.

My strategy is to simply claim the lane, which of course does not win me any new friends. I’ll move over when it is safe for them to pass. Really it is not that much time out of your day to wait for the oncoming traffic to pass so that you can pass me like any other vehicle. And it sure as heck will save you a lot of messy time explaining to the police why you caused an accident.

Why is that pine tree leaning toward the picnic table?
Why is that pine tree leaning toward the picnic table?

The goat…. What can I say, I was just coming up a hill, admiring the Halloween decorations at yet another country store, when all of the sudden this big goat comes at me. Where did he come from!?? I guess he escaped his pen, or maybe he was put there to guard the pumpkins? I wish I had our little episode on camera but his horns looked quite nasty so I didn’t hang around to get that Kodak moment!

Despite all of the annoyances, I made it safely to our campground at Mississippi Palisades. The park is huge and our campsite was way back away from everything. We grilled some pork chops from Fareway over an open campfire and had a good night.