Number Seventeen: Wisconsin

For a couple thousand miles, as we worked our way west, we more or less followed the trail of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of Discovery. Then we followed parts of the Oregon Wagon Train Trail as we worked our way back east (although we were going against traffic.)

In Green Bay, we followed the “Packers Heritage Trail.”

One stop on the Packers’ Heritage Trail is the Neville Public Museum, which includes a Lego version of Lambeau Field (“Curly” Lambeau founded the Packers, played for the Packers, coached the Packers and now a bronze version sits on a bench at the start of the trail.) The museum also has some fossils, the history of Brown County, and a little whimsy beyond the Packer Heritage.

There is also a bronze “Golden Boy” aka Paul Hornung on the trail. In addition to being part of several Packer championship teams and in the Hall of Fame, Hornung was suspended (along with Alex Karras) for a year for betting on games.

A story I heard from Eli Strand, who lived across the hall from me at Iowa State and was later a back-up linebacker for the Packers, involved Hornung and Vince Lombardi. After coming back from his suspension for betting and listening to Lombardi’s half time speech, in a game when the Packers were behind, about how much better the Packers were than the other guys and that there was no way they could lose to a team like that, Lombardi finished up with the rhetorical question, “So what are we going to do?” Hornung raised his hand and suggested, “Call our bookies?”

According to Eli. I don’t remember who won.

We were really in Green Bay to ride the Ahnapee State Trail. The trail was too long for us to do it all in a day. After some discussion, we decided our optimal strategy was to start in Algoma on Lake Michigan, ride north-ish into Door County, and finish in Sturgeon Bay on Sturgeon Bay off Green Bay. For us, ‘optimal’ means we ride up-grade on the way out, coast on the way back, and there are restrooms every few miles. Coming out of Algoma, we missed the fork in the road and ended up in Luxenburg after 15 miles going down and passing no restrooms. It also meant that we drove 15 miles we didn’t need to in order to ride the trail in the wrong direction.

Although we didn’t quite get into Door County, it was a fine trail. We finished up our 50 Wisconsin miles riding the Fox River Trail mostly in Green Bay and may be related to the Fox River in Aurora, which was a lot easier and didn’t involve any unmarked forks in the road.



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