My nephew graduated this spring but the celebratory event for friends and family was held this past weekend. Coincidently, Kem’s niece also graduated this spring and had a similar event on the same weekend. So we both took time for long weekends and headed north. Kem to Chicago, me to Appleton Wisconsin.

The weather was a welcome contrast to the heat wave we’ve been enduring in Austin, so I spent as much time as I could outside and on my sister’s deck. Sleeping with the window open and no A/C was refreshing as well.

I snagged my sister’s bike on a couple of occasions and tooled around town. Would have been nice to have a road bike to explore some of the country roads, but I wasn’t outfitted for that. The hybrid offered some comfy riding around town though. There are some really nice paved bike paths in and near the city. I connected up with one north of Meade past Thrivent Financial into the northern ‘burbs. Then a longer ride out College Street, past Lawrence College to Kimberly and then on to Kaukauna.

Old tandem

No, that’s not my sister’s bike. (Hers was in good shape.) The bike pictured here was among a collection of similar old rusted out relics I happened across. They formed a fence along a little side path off the main bike path to Kaukauna that lead to a really nice bike shop named “Recyclist“. I pulled in for a look-see.

The ride I did to the north was shorter but had some streams and fields of clover along the way. Scents have a way of evoking past memories like nothing else and the fields of clover reminded me a lot of past rides along country roads in Iowa and Minnesota. That, and the ever present sounds of Red Wing black birds.

Clover Red Wing blackbird