WEEK 10 RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA STARTS TOMORROW
Segment 24: West Union IA to Boscobel WI
Segment 25: Boscobel WI to Madison WI
Segment 26: Madison WI to Milwaukee WI
WOW! ON THE FIRST SEGMENT THIS WEEK THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER IS CROSSED. Even virtually it seems like a really big deal. Notice, when leaving Iowa, that both the state’s western and eastern borders are formed by rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, respectively. Iowa is the only state with this distinction.
The National Geographic Society website has a student activity for grades 6-8, in which students examine the role of rivers in the settlement of the Americas; if your kids are walking, running, or biking this challenge, it might be worth exploring as a learning activity.
Moving into the state of Wisconsin, the route follows along the Wisconsin River, a tributary of the Mississippi and the longest in the state. Apparently, there are bald eagles to be seen along the northern Mississippi River valley, between Minnesota and southern Illinois, but mostly in January and February.
Wisconsin is one of the USA’s top dairy producers and is famous for its cheese. Fans of the professional football team, the Green Bay Packers are known as “cheeseheads”. Due to settlement of its lands by European, especially German and Scandinavian immigrants in the 1800’s and early 1900’s their cultural influence persists.
The remainder of the week our travels continue across Wisconsin to its two largest cities. The first is the state’s second largest and state capital, Madison, named after President James Madison and home of the University of Wisconsin.
Milwaukee, the largest, is next. According to the TrekTravel.com online itinerary for its bike tour (week 4, day 28), the route to Madison from Boscobel WI takes you through a beautiful ‘unglaciated region” of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, where you experience forested steep ridges and rolling hills, deep green valleys, spring-fed waterfalls, and crystal clear trout streams possessing dramatically carved limestone bluffs.
It says that nearby farms, which use sustainable growing practices, produce organic foods and other treasures like heirloom vegetables and artisanal cheeses likely to be found in Madison restaurants and its farmers market. Part of the tour company's admitted enthusiasm for this city is due to the fact that Madison is its hometown, which explains the wonderful insight into the area's charms.
Milwaukee is at the eastern edge of the route through this state and offers up scenes of the Lake Michigan western shoreline and the Brewers’ baseball team stadium, Miller Park. It is the home of iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the company's landmark building-housed Museum.
German settlers were responsible for the city’s beer-making and -loving heritage. A large Polish presence was established as well, along with immigrant communities from Lithuania, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Bohemia and Sweden. Festivals still honor their influence on the city.
There is much to see and enjoy in Wisconsin.
Get ready to cross another large body of water, Lake Michigan known by locals as "The Big Lake", next week!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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