Biking the Trempealeau Trails in Wisconsin
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
1y ago
In May of 2022, while on a work trip, I biked three of the 18 Trempealeau Trails Bicycle Association’s Loops. The bicycle loops range from 16 – 56 miles with a range of different elevations. I rode these routes around 5-7 p.m. each night and encountered almost no traffic at all. Trempealeau Trails loops sign You can review each of the 18 routes here. I chose to ride three of the shorter loops with less elevation. The Sweet and Simple route, Amish Country Cruising and Easy Does It. Sweet and Simple route by Trempealeau Trails Bicycle Association“Sweet and Simple” The Sweet and Simple route, loo ..read more
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Biking the T-Bone Trail from Atlantic to Audubon, Iowa
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
1y ago
In April, I cycled the T-Bone Trail spanning Cass and Audubon counties, over 40 miles with 259 ft. of elevation on a paved, scenic trail. LENGTH: 19.8 mi TYPE: asphalt, concrete DIFFICULTY: easy History of the T-Bone Trail According to mycountyparks.com, the T-Bone Trail is a former railroad right of way; purchased with the help of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. It was named for the T-Bone event that originated in the 1950s when Audubon farmers would load cattle onto a train to market in Chicago. The trail took over fifteen years to complete. Funding for the T-Bone Trail was received th ..read more
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Sandhill Crane Bicycle Tour 2022
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
1y ago
On Saturday, March 25, there was an organized ride called the Sandhill Crane Bicycle Tour of 2022 that started and ended in Grand Island, Nebraska. There was also a shorter ride out of Doniphan. “Explore the annual Sandhill Crane migration by bicycle in March near Grand Island Nebraska. These will be free, self supported rides, consisting of two paved routes. Start and finish will be from the same locations. Sandhill Cranes migrate from the south each spring. About 80% of the world population converge in Central Nebraska along the Platte River from Grand Island to Kearney. At the peak, mid M ..read more
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Slater to Rhodes, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
1y ago
Last June, I rode the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail from Slater to Rhodes, Iowa. The trail was a mix of pavement, crushed limestone, road, gravel and GRASS (which was quite unexpected).  LENGTH: 30.41 MI ELEVATION: 472 FT. CLIMBING TYPE: ASPHALT, CONCRETE, ROAD, GRAVEL, GRASS DIFFICULTY: EASY Views from the trail. This is where the grassy section started. Last pic of the grassy section. View a portion of this trail on Alltrails here. Here is the route on Strava ..read more
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The trail between two lakes, Sauk Rail Trail
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
1y ago
Last summer, Ryan and I rode the Sauk Rail Trail from Lake View, Iowa to Swan Lake State Park just south of Carroll. LENGTH: 24.3 mi ELEVATION: 374 ft. climbing TYPE: asphalt, concrete DIFFICULTY: easy On Saturday, July 3rd, we started in Lake View, riding down through Breda to Carroll and around Swan Lake State Park before riding back to Lake View. Our total distance for the day was 54.17 miles with 702 ft. of mostly gradual climbing. The loop around Swan Lake had the most hills. View this route on Alltrails here. Find more information about the stops along the trail from sauk-trail.com her ..read more
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Biking the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail in Shelby, Iowa
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
2y ago
Several weeks ago I rode the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail near Shelby, Iowa. The official trail is just 3.75 miles. After riding this short trail, I did a little more riding in Shelby and took a different path back to where I parked my car. The trailhead starts near The Cornstalk Cafe and a Shell gas station. There is a nice trailhead with artwork and a garden before you start down the crushed stone trail. There is a somewhat steep hill to get you down to the water level. View from water level of the Shell gas station and restaurant. Old windmill on the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Na ..read more
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Biking the Katy Trail – Clinton > Machens, MO
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
2y ago
This May, Ryan and I biked the entire Katy Trail from Clinton to Machens, Missouri (and then some). The official Katy Trail is 239.6 miles long, here is a blog recap of our trip. Day One On day one we road from Clinton to Pilot Grove for a total of 62.41 miles. We parked our truck at the Clinton Community Center at no cost after filling out some paperwork inside letting them know how long our trip was planning to be. Towns: Clinton Calhoun Windsor Green Ridge Sedalia Clifton City Pilot Grove Key Stops: Lunch: El Espolon Authentic Mexican Restaurant (right off the trail), Sedalia Dinner: Casey ..read more
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Recap of 2020
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
2y ago
Well, it’s been awhile. I never dreamed we would still still be in the same place nearly one year later. In case you missed it, I’ve been working from home since March of last year. I spend my entire day on my work computer writing copy, sending emails and attending meetings on video so it pains me to even think about logging back on to blog at night. So sorry for the lack of posts lately. I feel like a lot has changed in the last year. My interests have really shifted and that has been largely due to the pandemic. The time I used to spend going out with friends, volunteering, attending commun ..read more
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Raising Bottle Calves
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
2y ago
I’ve been working from home since March 13, 2020. So, this week marks 17 weeks. Wow. I figured this spring was as good of time as any to raise a few bottle calves! In late March, two bottle calves arrived at our farm. They were either abandoned by their mom or their mom did not survive their birth. They needed attention multiple times each day and I was definitely available to help out. The calves belong to Ryan’s uncle. I took care of them from late March until just a few weeks ago. One bull calf and one heifer. How do I raise a bottle calf? When the calves arrived at our farm they were alr ..read more
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Cabin in the Woods
The Blooming Farmhouse
by Melissa Peterson
2y ago
Over Mother’s Day weekend, we met Ryan’s family on the property near our farm for a little grill-out at the cabin. This little plot of land is truly amazing. This is the view from the cabin.We mostly drive in and out to get to this spot. Woodland Phlox in Lily of the Valley. Blue Jay. While we were there, I spotted my first Monarch butterfly of the year. I was so excited I started pointing and yelling, nobody understood what I was pointing at. Ha! I logged my sighting on both the North American Butterfly Association’s website and Journey North’s website. On Journey North, you can see your dot ..read more
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