The past two days, Gayle and I have visited the highest point in the state of Wisconsin and what I think is now the 4th highest place in Wisconsin. The view above is at Rib Mountain, near Wausau. It’s nearly 700 feet higher than the surrounding valleys. It’s a State Park and has a ski resort on the north side of the mountain.

Right about where I took this picture, I camped out for a night while on a hundreds of miles bicycle trip with Tom – one of my fraternity brothers. Both of us were taking summer school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison between our junior and senior years in the summer of 1972. I was taking 3rd semester calculus and wanted to get a decent grade (I got a “B” – good enough). After summer school ended, we had 2 weeks until senior year started. So…we decided to go off on our bicycles and take a long trip.

My father took a similar trip. He was born in 1913. When the depression hit in 1930, he and two other boys rode their bicycles from Chicago to SE Minnesota. They heard they needed workers on farms and decided to ride there to work for the summer – one less mouth to feed. They just left their mothers a note and took off! They worked all summer on a farm in Caledonia MN, got room and board and rode back to Chicago with $40 cash in their socks.

The pic. above is the view looking south. The pic. at the top of the thread is looking north.

When Tom and I left Madison, we got to Devil’s Lake State Park the first night, a county park on the Petenwell Flowage the second night and Rib Mountain the third night. It was cloudy with on and off drizzle. Tom rode right to the top of the mountain. I walked the bike a couple of times. At the top of the mountain, a ranger let us borrow his car to go back down the mountain to get two pizzas – one for himself and one for us (free for us).

TV and Communication Towers on top of Rib Mountain

The mountaintop hosts the towers of all 3 Wausau TV stations, radio stations and communications (cell phone) towers. There’s a tower you can climb to get awesome views of the valleys below. Note that this is a state park and we had to pay an $11 day fee. The park has numerous hiking trails, but there is no camping on the mountaintop anymore. There was a yoga class going on in an area where park lectures are given. The park staff was very helpful to me, BTW.

Rib Mountain is one of the oldest geological formations on earth. It was interesting to me from a geological perspective and to see dust off some memories of the bicycle trip I took 50 years ago.