Day 20: Les Go

Date: June 15th, 2019

Miles Traveled: 70

Weather: Clear in the morning, partly cloudy/overcast in the afternoon. Warm.

Physical Status: Good.

TL;DR: Guitartown, dozens of miles of rail trails, and a really cool, intellectual couple.

After saying goodbye to Robert and his friend before they drove to the Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee (FTTM) with their tandem bike, I hit the road at around 8:30am and traveled through the outskirts of the city for a couple of miles:

Along the way, I passed by a gorgeous mural and a series of architecturally intrigueing houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for low income families:

I then hopped on the Hank-Aaron State Trail for a few more miles, turned left, and continued onto the West Allis Cross-Town Connector and the New Berlin Trail:

The New Berlin Trail was quite interesting.

*Ahem*

The people on the New Berlin Trail were quite interesting.

In just two or so miles, I passed by a man riding his bike with a full-grown parrot in a small cage mounted on top of his handlebar bag, a pair of rollerbladers in full lyrica basically speed skating down the path, and a man cross country “skiing” with these bad boys:

Welcome to Wisconsin. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After riding a few more miles, I arrived in Waukesha.

AKA… “Guitartown”:

Apparently, Les Paul (yes, that Les Paul) performed jazz guitar at one of the local stages in Waukesha as a kid, hence the abundance of guitar-themed murals and sculptures.

After exploring the downtown area for a bit, I stopped at a cute lil’ gelato place serving CBD-infused and “Pikachu” flavored gelato:

CBD Vanilla gelato… because brownies were just the beginning.

After snapping a couple pictures of the adorableness of the place, I walk up to the counter and stand a couple feet away to browse the menu up above. As I struggle to decide what to get, two ladies walk up behind me and proceed to order.

“Hmmm… I’ll take a <order 1> and a <order 2>…” she said.

As she handed her credit card to the person on the other side of the counter, she added “…oh, and I’ll pay for whatever he’s having.

What?

I stood there for a few seconds, processing what I just heard.

She glanced at me, smiling.

“Holy shit, she’s talking about me.” I thought.

“Oh my gosh, are you sure? I was actually going to order a large waffle cone. Is that okay?” I said in a gentle tone.

“Yup! Whatever you want. Go ahead.” she said cheerily.

“Oh… wow… thank you… I’m touched.” I murmured, holding my palm up to my chest.

I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t articulate the gratitude I felt from such a simple act of kindness.

Remember how one of my previous hosts mentioned that people pay for each other in Battle Creek, Michigan? The legends were true.

After receiving my large waffle cone, I briefly chatted with the pair and thanked them once more before we parted ways.

People are cool. Like really, really cool.

—–

After checking out a vintage mini bike showcase in town, I rode along some suburban roads before hopping on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail:

For the next 40 miles, I took the Glacial Drumlin Trail all the way to Deerfield, Wisconsin, my destination for the day.

Along the way, I passed by countless wetlands, farms, fields, lakes, and even some wildlife:

Upon getting off the gravel path and traveling along a rural road for a mile or two, I noticed a dark, ominous sky up above. My eyes, glued to the horizon, checked for flashes of lightning.

I shut off my radio to listen for thunder. As I rode along, I thought for sure I was going to be stuck in a thunderstorm or at least a downpour.

Luckily, mother nature was kind to me today. I rode the whole day with barely a couple drops of rain.

About 15 miles from my destination, I stopped at this bridge and looked out at the serene river below. Birds darted all about, zipping over the water and into the trees on either side.

Suddenly, a buzzing entity entered my field of view. It hovered there for less than a second and then flew towards the river bank and into the grasses near the river’s edge.

Startled, I stopped for a second and processed what I saw.

And then I began to chuckle.”THAT WAS A HUMMINGBIRD!” I yelled.

Silence.

I looked around as if to see if anyone else saw what just happened. Of course, there was no one there.

—–

I continued along the trail and enjoyed a section that divided two large lakes:

A mile or two later, I snagged a shitty picture of a (really chubby?) Baltimore Oriole:

…and then I saw a pair of adult sandhill cranes and their juvenile and a flock of turkeys in the same field.

As the cranes walked delicately in the grass, the two adults began to vocalize with a sound that I certainly was not expecting to hear. It was uncanny, almost turkey gobble-like. And it was loud.

After observing the birds for a couple minutes, I continued to pedal West and traveled through a peaceful nature area:

Crikey! A Canada Goose feather!

I even saw a lil’ snapping turtle marching across the path:

—–

And then… then I met THE KILT MAN and his partner, Brett, my hosts for the night.

Brett and the kilt man (AKA “Doug”) were a fascinating couple with wonderfully positive, open, and intellectual minds.

After Doug greeted me in the front of their house, I walked my bike into their garage and thanked him for hosting me. One of the first things he uttered was the following:

“Our pleasure. One of our key philosophies is that we just always try to make the world a little bit smaller and hosting is one of the ways we try to do that.”

…Cool.

Over dinner, Brett, Doug, and I shared some great conversation and discussed everything from their exotic beer collection to how they never use the word “should” (e.g. “I should do that”) to Doug’s belief that free will does not exist (yes, you read that right. Doug does not believe in free will).

Now I know what you’re thinking…

“Quinn… with all due respect… Who the fuck are you staying with? I was amazed by the couple cultivating their own sustainable farm or the family who basically made everything in their yard, but a person who thinks everything is predetermined in some capacity? That’s not amazing, that’s just weird.” you say.

And I would say: you are absolutely right. It is abstract. But although Doug didn’t change my perspective on free will (or Brett’s for that matter), damn was it fascinating to learn about his point of view.

Rest easy, Mom and Dad.

—–

Doug recently started his own podcast called “Doug in a Pub”. Feel free to check it out here.

—–

Tomorrow, I’ll be riding just 17 miles from Deerfield, Michigan to my cousin’s apartment in Madison, one of the most bikeable cities in the U.S.A. Needless to say, I’m excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time!

3 thoughts on “Day 20: Les Go

  1. I had to look up Fez collection ๐Ÿ™‚
    Inspiring, ice cream story, love nature stories. The first time I experienced humming birds was with you in Yosemite. So proud of you. Love Mom ๐Ÿ˜˜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you passed the major highway did you think, “If I was in my car….” Love that someone treated you to an ice cream. I also love that you talk to yourself on this journey. You will be forever changed by all the people you’ve met and talked with on this trip. (Be glad you aren’t here. Dreary rain all week.) Enjoy Madison! I have family there. Love, Aunt Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From a “physics” stand point, as I’m sure you’ve thought of, free will could be considered an illusion. All of our actions are simply the way that everything else happened that lead up to the present. Me typing this now is due to my reaction to your story, which could be considered as predetermined. The electrons/protons/protons had to bounce around in a certain way. So, I get where he’s coming from. Though, consciously, the idea of “no free will” doesn’t make sense, but from a “everything had to happen this way anyway” stand point, I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

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