Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday September 13, 2014: Houlton, WI to Siren, WI

This morning we awoke to a cold 32 degrees!!! I’m not ready for this!!   Cal pulled out another layer of clothes!  Plus, at 7:00 am there was heavy fog.  However the sun was trying to burn it off!  Due to the fog we ate a leisurely breakfast and did not rush in packing the vehicle.  By the time we came to the spot where Cal stopped riding yesterday the fog had almost lifted, but due to construction we drove a few miles farther before he began riding this morning. 

As I said yesterday we are now following the St Croix River.  We will follow it north to St Croix Falls, but at that point the river curves northwest and we will follow the road north east.  Away from the river we were again dairy land.  I took a few photos of barns with silos and dairy.  I even saw those brown and white cows that give the milk for twist ice cream cones!!!  Chocolate and vanilla! 

Dairy Farm 

Guernsey Cows
Cal found a bike trail on which he road for approximately 7 miles, however it had a gravel surface.  He opted for the highway which had smooth shoulders.  Gravel slows him down and is twice the effort to peddle. 
Beside dairy, hay, soybeans and corn I saw another crop that I could not identify (somewhat like a soybean plant, but shorter and different).  Then all of a sudden coming toward me on the road were these huge pickers – 7 of them – big combines like machines for soybeans or corn, but they had a huge roller on the front.  I saw the field these pickers had just left, but I still had no idea what they were picking.  Then I noticed a semi-trailer that was being loaded from these pickers.  I pulled up to the semi and asked the driver what it was they were picking – Green beans!!!! Tons of green beans for a canning factory in the area! Very interesting!  Yesterday we saw fields that we think were sweetcorn for canning/freezing for human consumption.  The plant and tassel looked different than regular field corn grown on farms, plus the plants were greener.  We keep seeing roadside stands still selling sweet corn. I would love to buy some but how would I prepare it! We know there is a Jolly Green Giant processing plant within 100 miles of this part of Minnesota/Wisconsin, but there is another processor in this area.   

Green Bean Pickers
Today I did stop at a Farmers Market and bought a container of locally grown cherry tomatoes.  I was looking for fruit, and this was my option.  They were great.
Cal rode as far as Siren, WI today but the hotels/motels in town were full due to 3 weddings and a funeral, so we had to drive to where we are tonight.            

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