Day 39: Paradise Valley

The unexpected rain woke us in our tents. When it’s hot/humid we don’t put the rain covers on our tents so it’s cooler. Well, the forecast was wrong and we jumped out of bed to put up our rain flies and brace for the strong wind.

We ate our breakfast and lunch on the lakefront but decided to ride 13 miles to the next town to eat dinner. It was a short, easy ride into the small town of Valparaiso, population 563.

Since Harry’s Tavern doesn’t open until 5pm, we did some grocery shopping at the Sinclair gas station. Julie, one of the owners, told us a bit of the history of the town. Valparaiso was settled by Chzech immigrants and the word means “Paradise Valley”. We enjoyed their soft serve ice cream – indeed it was a one stop market.

Steve had time for a nap in the park while I rode around town. I met a farmer whose grandfather started the family farm with the help of the homestead act. He asked his grampa why he didn’t go 2 more miles west on flatter farmland and he replied “this land reminds me of home in Czechoslovakia.”

Jeanne, the owner of Harry’s Tavern entertained us and fed us a nice cheeseburger and homemade onion rings for dinner. She even gave us a free beer and coozy to enjoy later. Her friend Matt joined us for more stories and good conversation. Thanks Jeanne and Matt!

Paradise Valley indeed.

Nap in the park
You know you’re in farm country when the beer has a John Deere label on it
Jeanne and Matt

Summary: we rode 20 miles from Branched Oak Lake state park to near Brainard on 55T Raymond rd, highway 79, and Oak Creek Trail.

2 Replies to “Day 39: Paradise Valley”

  1. They may be Czech, but Valparaiso is Spanish i.e. Val Paraiso a port in Chile is called Valparaiso i.e. Valle Paradise Valley of Paradise

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