Sunday, 14 September 2014

Ironman Wisconsin 2014 -- The trip

Border crossing to Port Huron. I wonder where he's going
Jen and I headed out at 5 pm Wednesday towards the sunset.  The CD player is busted, so we had to listen to the radio.  Through Michigan it was the metal station.  Not something we would play much, but really different from the middle-of-the-road generic pop that all the Canadian stations gravitate to.  Through Grand Rapids we found the alternative station amusing.  They played weird bongos, techno, jazz... an odd mix, and a long way from the ordinary.  Our choice in Indiana was one of the Christian stations.  They had upbeat spirited rock songs that we had never heard before.  
We got there on Thursday

It seemed like all of the freeways through Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin were under construction. Lane closures, construction, crappy roads, and more construction.  Fortunately we passed through Chicago at 2 am, so traffic was light.  During the day it would be a mess.

The badger within the capital

The weather forecast was frightful.  Rain, thundershowers, high winds and hail overnight, turning into thundershowers in the morning.  By afternoon on Thursday , partly cloudy with more rain and some thundershowers. Plus a chance of thundershowers. We napped in the Walmart parking lot Northeast of Chicago for a few hours overnight before heading on to Madison. Thursday morning is no parking day in downtown Madison.  It's trash pickup day, si it's to ensure room for the trucks.

Casting the "locate" spell

The website for the Dade County campground wouldn't let me make a reservation within 5 days ahead.  When we got there it finally made sense.  Drive-up campers could take charge of a spot for 4 days simply by plopping a tent on it.  We did that and paid through Monday. The website doesn't know that's happened, so it simply locks you out for days that close.  Lake Park was already full, so we went to the second choice, Babcock Park.  It had a convenience store in the gas station across the road.  The evening attendant became our concierge, giving directions, restaurant information, and tips on their selection of liquor. 

It makes you want to stand on one foot

Thursday was mostly sunny.  Lake Monona, where the swim is held, had whitecaps from the 40 km/hr wind.  The bike would be a nightmare on a day like this.  We didn't see anyone brave the water.  We toured the capital building.  The main hall is dominated by the badger figures at opposite ends.  They love their badgers.  We came across a couple badger statues in the streets.  We both bought official IM Wisconsin biking apparel at the expo.  I also picked up a bottle of their recommended wetsuit lube.  

It's like the bridge of the Enterprise
 Saturday we held rest day.  We drove to Milwaukee and toured the art gallery and the sculpture garden.  Jen took the full set of high-school art classes, so she can provide good commentary.

Lynden Sculpture Garden

We were to bed at dusk Saturday for our 7 am wake-up on race day.

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