In stereotypical Wisconsin fashion, our family vacation this summer was a trip to Door County, sharing a house on the tip of the Door Peninsula with some amazing friends. We took the ferry to Washington Island, swam and snorkeled in Death’s Door, and shopped in Sister Bay. A favorite was the Dark Sky Park at Newport State Park, staring up in awe at the Milky Way, shooting stars, and satellites traversing overhead.
This was my third year of participating in the Horribly Hilly Hundreds, a long, very hilly ride in the driftless area west of Madison. The fide begins in the villiage of Blue Mounds and ends in Blue Mound State Park and is a fund raiser for the park. In order to get ready for this ride, I started riding in March; Saturdays with Bombay Bicycle Club and weekdays on my own.
For spring break this year, we decided to take a trip to Sevier County, Tennessee, home to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and innumerable tourist traps like Dollywood and the Titanic Museum1. While these things hold little interest for me, I was very interested in the Smoky Mountains, because I wanted to go climb a mountain pass like the riders in the Tour de France.
So, I packed up one of my bikes, a modernized 1975 Schwinn Le Tour.