Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 2: River Road to Rochester

It is cooler today but more importantly less humid. I feel as if a
front has come through but if it stormed last night I made no notice
of it.
We spend the morning in PdC (code for Prairie du Chien; rhymes with
Charlie Sheen). We visited the Fort Crawford museum and what a gem of
a museum it is. Located on the grounds of what was the second Fort
Crawford (then US Sec'y of War), the only remaining building was the
medical building. And what a history it has. For Fort Crawford was
where William Beaumont did much of his work on digestion studying a
french canadien who was shot in the stomach and survived with a skin
Also of note is that PdC is the birthplace of Walter B Cannon. Those
of a clinical bent attending SiiM by more mundane means will note that
Cannon was the first Gastrointestinal Radiologist having invented the
barium swallow <as a medical student> at Harvard! His likeness adorns
the gold medal given by the SGR to this day, I believe.
The museum though only 3 rooms has a tremendous collection of
medical and military arcana. Very well presented and explained. There
were even early radiographs and a hand held fluoroscope.
Adjacent to this museum is a small museum of the town, also a fun,
quick stop.
We rode north out of PdC along Rt. 35. Here, the Great River Road
lives up to its name. It flows alongside the great river itself. The
river, a deep azure, reaches north and south to both horizons. It is
matched by an endless expanse of clear blue sky. They, together, are
shouldered in an infinite array of greens.
We meander up to La Crosse and Crosse over to Minnesota, there. We
hop on to 90 and zip out to the mecca of medicine. We hope to visit
Mayo tomorrow. Maybe we can pick up Brad with his hog for the end of
the trip. If not, we will at least have a picture of the XRay bike in
front of the clinic!

David S. Channin MD
Evanston, IL
(312) 725 - XRAY (9729)
(866) 844 - 6643 (FAX)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

5th Annual Ride-2-SiiM is ON: Day 1

Well, another beautiful spring, a hot summer day and another
Ride-2-SiiM. We left Skokie around 2 PM. Atypical, but that, I feel,
will be the key word to this trip. I am accompanied this year, by the
family, in the <sweep vehicle>. Alex, my usual road mate is utterly
occupied with his lovely wife and their beautiful 1 year old. (Astute
readers will remember that she was born just before SiiM 2009!).
We drove westward out of Chicagoland. The heat on the road was
opressive, at least 85. I could feel it beating off the road. High
humidity and an ugly glare only made things worse. The downside to
living in Chicagoland is that you have to ride for an hour and a half
to get anywhere decent.
Eventually, we hit Route 20, the great way west, identified in
Illinois as Grant's highway. Not coincidentally we will follow his way
west to Galena, his home. We have followed this route on many
occasions as Galena is a very nice place to weekend. Lots of outdoor
activities and a lovely downtown strip of fun shops. It is always a
pleasure to wind your way through the rolling farms to get there. Your
wrist tires of waving to all the bikers you pass.
We wend our way north to the Great River Road, paralleling the
mother river north toward her source. Ironically, you cannot see the
river from the Great River Road, at least not the Wisconsin side.
Somehow this fact is missing from the online tour guides. Still we
wind our way through more and more beautiful farmland, the sky pinking
as the sun sets behind imposing yet ultimately impotent high cumulus
clouds. The road winds agreeably through some twisties that challenge
my end of day riding skills but yet invigorate me by reminding why we
We stop for the night in Prairie du Chien; pronounced not at all the
way my French wife would like. Another great example of small town
mid America.

David S. Channin MD
Evanston, IL
(312) 725 - XRAY (9729)
(866) 844 - 6643 (FAX)