Our night camped at the airfield passed without incident and we got a well deserved quiet night of rest. The promised rain never even showed up and we had the good fortune of packing up mostly dry belongings this morning as we headed out of camp. Unfortunately, shoes don’t dry that fast, so our cycling shoes had to be put back on still damp and clammy, which was a bit unwelcome in the chilly morning weather.
For July 1st, it seemed kind of amusing that I was wearing my thermal layers and even the cycling gloves I purchased for use in Utah winter, but we needed every bit of clothing we were wearing as we headed off towards Innsbruck.. Still, as long as the clouds were willing to hold back the rain, I wasn’t going to complain.
It was almost no time at all before we found a dedicated cycling route that pointed straight to Innsbruck that had almost no traffic and sometimes the lanes were entirely bike specific. The alps rose up on either side of the narrow valley we were cycling along giving us picture perfect views almost everywhere we went. As we rolled along, we couldn’t help but note just how much we love Austria. The people are so friendly, the scenery is so amazing, and there are plenty of bike lanes and quiet roads from which to enjoy them. It doesn’t hurt that some of our favorite Italian staples are in plentiful supply here as well.
As we cycled along the bike paths, we quickly realized that this must be prime cycling country because we were in good company. Plenty of cyclists and many other cycle tourists were headed along in both directions all waving hello as we passed. The skies cleared out a bit, giving us some nice patches of blue skies as we pedaled along and we even got to shed some layers.
At some point, we pulled up to a museum packed with tour buses so we pulled off to see what was going on. Not a sign was in English anywhere, but near as we could tell, it was a garden of ornate crosses. We snapped a few photos, and carried. Ben’s favorite part of the whole stop was the automatic lawnmower. We may just need to get one of those!
By 10:30 though, we had apparently burned right through our morning meal because we were both getting pretty hungry so we stopped on a rickety old bench for a snack. As we ate our dense German loaf of bread and some cheese, we watched people about their business in town. One particularly old gentleman who could barely walk really surprised me when he painstakingly mounted a bicycle and ever so slowly pedaled himself away. If I am to get old one day, I wish to do it while still riding my bike no matter how slow I am moving!
We ate quick because it was still a bit chilly when we weren’t exercising, so we hopped back on and continued our ride. Everywhere we went though, instead of smelling floral like it usually does, smelled an awful lot like manure. Soon we realized why as we saw almost every field with a farmer out fertilizing his crops. July 1st must be a manure festival or something around here- kind of gross!
As we followed the beautiful paths, we spotted a nice place to put our camera on self timer and get a shot of both of us riding our loaded bikes- something we’ve never managed so far on this trip. The farmer in the field adjacent to our photo project managed to put three full trailers full of manure on his fields in the amount of time it took us to get a shot that we liked!
The clouds started getting thick again just as we rolled into the outskirts of Innsbruck and we headed toward our campsite for the evening. We picked a grassy spot and happily found wifi was available to plot our route directly through the alps just as the rain began.