Day 37 Mercer to Eagle River

Strava link

Satellite tracking

Two separate stories today. First, the most gorgeous, beautifully groomed, smooth, well maintained bike path I’ve ever seen in the middle of nowhere. If this was someone’s pork barrel project and I benefited from it is that what privilege is? The bike path is 50 miles long in the middle of nowhere perfectly smooth with groomed grass borders. It was not just laid out along an old rail path that was perfectly straight, it wound its way through the woods over creeks and streams. Along one stream crossing where there was a wooden rail there were potted geranium plants and my brother and I thought we had seen everything until 10 miles down the path we see a maintenance vehicle coming towards us that we thought was towing a mower but they were towing a leaf blower to blow any leaves off of the path. We don’t know why the path was there but we thoroughly enjoyed our time riding along it.

The second story is about the new owner of the Stars Lake Chamber of Commerce, visitor center, grocery store, bait and tackle shop, post office, town historian, and soon to be art gallery and cafe. I’m probably missing something else! We stopped there for lunch and started having a conversation with him and he showed us pictures from 1907 when the area around there was booming as a logging town he had other pictures from the 1930s when it was a resort town where people would come during the summer before air conditioning and take a luxury train up and spend the whole summer in cabins on the lakes up there. He is also trying to reclaim the legend of the Hodag https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hodag that was stolen by Rhinelander but he claims originated from a taxidermist in stars lake. We enjoyed our lunch and time in Stars Lake before we had to get back on the road.

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