Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 42 Kokomo to Portland Ia

82/2865/1101 Good nights sleep till 6a for a change. We are back to Eastern time now, dark till 6a so Beau is out of sinc for his 5am drill. Too busy at motel breakfast, entire local softball team is consuming the few bagels and muffins so I stop at McD's for a value meal burrito and senior coffee and some quiet and the local newspaper. Local MD is getting sued with the hospital for not being licensed to do vascular surgery and the patient died, well, well local headlines. Nice quiet ride until Hartford city where I hit a road detour. It takes me 7 miles to the north and keeps on going so I make a left on a county road on my map and keep it to just 14 miles out of the way. Lots of dogs today, 3 boxers almost catch me, the white one did not want to give up, 28 mph for at least a mile, tired me out. Strong headwind last 7 miles so glad to be in Portland. Considered going on to next city, but the headwind has changed my mind for today. Longer day tomorrow to Dayton, but will leave a little earlier and it should be quiet on the roads as it is Sunday and even the motor bikers sleep in so I have the road to myself for first few hours. Some Nasty kids today shouted and threw something, only the third negative human encounter so far. Almost everyone else has been friendly , interested and supportive.

Day 41 Watseka to Kokomo

106/2783/1183 Another nice weather day. Met a group at the motel at breakfast that are touring Portland Or to Portland Maine. They left June 8 and only average 50 miles per day. They have a support van with a spouse but are carrying all their gear in panniers or bob trailers. Ride on US 24 is good for the first 30 miles then gets bad with no shoulder and lots of trucks. At small town of Monticello I change route and head south on 415 on some county roads , much quieter and safer. Lunch with Suz at the Delphi Tavern, chicken sandwich that upsets my stomach ( fried ) . Ride the next 76 into Kokomo and I get a little lost finding the motel, it is a few miles off route. We find an Olive garden and have a great pasta energy refuel and a good glass of red wine. Calculate that it is a long ride into Dayton via Portland, but will do it in two days. We will take a rest in Dayton and visit the kids and grandkids for a couple of days.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 40 Weona to Watseka Il

93/2677/1286 Another cool overcast morning after and early Beau walk again. 3am. Off at 7 a and the fields are covered in corn for as far as you can see. Road closed again with another detour but with good roads and sights. A few dogs but none to catch me. Nice lunch in Forest after the 20 mile detour at the Forest family restaurant. Large chef salad for $ 4.50 !! Nice tailwind into Watseka after miles of corn and corn, with a few soybeans thrown in. Stop to take a picture outside Watseka of the water tower and find that my banana uneaten today had decomposed on top of the camera. Banana juice killed the lcd on the camera back so you can't see what you are shooting.....will have to dry it out and see if it comes back or that will be camera number 2 killed on this trip. Motel in Watseka is poor and Mexican food is worst but more expensive that most......go figure.

Day 39 Muscatine to Weona Il

105/2584/1379 Beautiful morning again after motel breakfast. Out of Muscatine easily and over the Mississippi into Illinois, the big O land. Both Oprah and Obama. Detour at route 162, road closed and get lost somewhat. Ask 5 cars for directions and get five different answers. Last car was a road angel and she took the map and told me how to get to the next town on the route, so that got me back on track. Two kids with gps send me in wrong direction, probably on purpose. Many piercings on those lips and ears.........Great lunch at Rudy's bar and grille then off again to Weona. After route 40, hundreds of windmills in the corn fields for miles and miles into Weona. Do the pizza hut salad bar which wasn't that bad. Salad and pasta . Beau ate a loaf of flax seed bread, so he is out often doing his thing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 38 Dyersville to Muscatine Ia

86/2379/1484 Corn, corn and more corn, with a few church steeples . Road is poor and some traffic, have to watch the traffic for trucks, but that is the norm. Pleasant ride into Lowden where we have Main street and again Broadway intersecting Main. Broadway is by far the second most common name of downtown streets second to Main Street. We stop at the Corner Cafe where they are very friendly. Have the chicken , cottage cheese and peach special platter for $ 4.00! Elise the owner takes our picture for their wall of tourists . Interesting old building, where the air conditioner drain comes into the men's bathroom and drips into the sink......We take a picture of the outside cafe and old opera house from the 1800's. Rest of the ride is easy through rolling hills and more corn fields. Come upon a crop circle picture along the road, looks like a golf club! Then a short way up I come upon Ansel's nine hole, where Ansel has built nine holes in his corn fields around a few acres that surround his farmhouse, should have gone back for a picture. Roll into Muscatine around 2p with nothing else remarkable. Motel with more commercials and old tv......or maybe a good book again.

Day 37 Harpers Ferry to Dyersville

57/2293/1570 Another great weather day, cool start under blue skies. Follow the great rivers route for the first 15 miles then thru historic town of Westgate on the river. Lots of old hotels and taverns . Leaving town I get chased down by a big male bull mastiff. He is an experience chaser as he runs 3o degrees ahead of me and catches me easily that way. He is all bark, growl and slobber but he doesn't try to bite me, I shout NO many times and he ends up standing in the road as I try to sprint away uphill.....I glance over my shoulder and see his doghouse, looks like a pile of bike parts and maybe a human femur with black lycra still on the bone. Lucky to get away with no injuries. Hilly short day into Dyersville, and I plan to visit the bike shop, but it closed a while ago, oh well.....We do a Country restraunt lunch and then a sub for dinner and get a redbox dvd movie to watch on the Laptop for a treat. We are so sick of commercials and air wave TV, even cable at motels is very limited to old movies with lots of commercials. We are spoiled by our TIVO recorder and without it we are reading a lot more rather than watch the poor programming on regular tv.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 36 Washaba to Harpers Ferry

110/2336/1627 Beau sleeps to 6a! Good nights sleep then leave around 7. Stop at the local Mart and get a bagel and coffee. When I come out there are four touring cyclists there, one (John) going from NYC to Vancouver, the other three doing a two week tour before starting jobs post college. I ask John how much his bike and gear weigh, he says 12 stone,,,,,a Brit. Beautiful cool morning in the 60's and powder blue sky. Have new paved road and cross/tailwind for next 60 miles. Stop in Homer for a break and chat with some want to be retirees and give them by five minute how to speak. They were very grateful, so maybe I should finish by e-book on how to do it......I ride along again until the detour which takes me around I90, where a cyclist in his pickup tells me there is a bike path along I90 so that I don't have to go 10 miles out of my way! Great quaint bikepath along the Mississippi and stands of old oak trees. Come into La Crescent and have a sandwich at the local gas/mart with Suz as we can't find the Subway. Head back along the Scenic River road and have a great ride with some tailwind and some hills now. Suz gets to Lansing and finds no rooms available and no campgrounds so we decide to roll on to Harpers Ferry, another 10 miles along. We get a motel room at the only motel, quiet and comfy but no Wifi, so we play cards and watch one of three channels . Dinner at Buck and Bulls Bar and Grille then back for more cards and route planning. We are considering cutting across Illinois to save time but need to do some planning and maybe experiment off our cycle maps to see how that works. We may find ourselves on bad roads with no places to stay......we'll see.