Day 01 - New Lisbon to Montello WI - 51 miles (59 total)

Our first day out of New Lisbon. Exciting. Nervous. Wet. Irritated. That about sums it up.

Every great adventure has a first day. You look forward to it with excited anticipation. You think about it as you drift to sleep for months prior. You want it to go perfectly, and you have it planned out in agonizing detail. You step out the door, and it all falls apart. This is what makes it an adventure.

We awoke to thunder and a Wisconsin monsoon. We decided to go grab breakfast and let the worst of the storm pass. We ate with Dee at the Midstate Cafe in New Lisbon, went back to the house, and left just as the rain fizzled out. The timing worked out great, even if we were having our first setback earlier than anyone would prefer.

The rain wasn't too bad. Pretty light. But the mosquitoes were not. Juneau county has been inundated with rainfall this spring, and the mosquitoes are in full-blooded overdrive. Slowing down for a hill-climb was enough to be swarmed. So irritating! In a particular bad stretch, we learned that the person in last gets it the then everyone sped up. I pulled up behind Roger at one point, to notice 10 or more of the buggers riding on the back by his rear reflector. I had just pointed it out to him when in unison they came right at me. Three landed instantly on my face. The rainjacket wasn't needed for the rain, but it provided a good shield against the bugs. Too bad the temperature was climbing and I had to shed it.

At 8 miles, it happened.........dang! I cannot put my true words here; the internet is too clean for such filth. My rear tire was flat. So, by some stroke of luck, the wind picked up and the bugs were held at bay just long enough to get it changed. I got it back together, and was flat again. In my haste I did not check the tire good enough and the cause was still embedded; a piece of glass was right through my tire. Rinse and repeat. Fixed.

Fortunately, after 20 miles or so, the bugs died down, and the sky cleared. We started rolling along pretty darn good, when.......dang! Chuck was pretty calm about it. He had a flat tire. Our 2nd of the day. We are down 3 tubes already.

We had great weather the rest of the ride through Oxford and to Montello. We had a nice campground lined up, but the weather is supposed to turn sour and we need to patch 3 tubes tonight. So, we got a cheap hotel in town. Overall, it was a wonderful first day. 51 miles, traffic was friendly, weather was good, food was not terrible, people were friendly. This is the journey we all are here for.