I was awoken by geese and the sound of gurgling river water. A breeze was making the trees sing along. Not a bad way to start the day.
About a mile from camp I rode by the buffalo farm (in Buffalo Indiana no less). The buffalo were grazing but too far from the road to take a decent picture. (Brittany, I swear I am not making this up.)
I stopped at the corner store for coffee and a cookie. The coffee was weak and the cookie was stale.
I hit the road to learn that the breeze was a headwind. And it stayed a headwind all day. Of course as the day wore one it turned into a 20 mile per hour beast with gusts well above that. The wind made it impossible to ride above 10 miles per hour. And the gusts moved The Mule all over the road. Both my legs and my arms were getting a serious workout.
The winds were much worse when I was riding past open farmland. The corn was to early to offer me any sort of wings break. )I wonder how it grows straight up and down with all this wind). Each farm had a stand of trees to block the wind so I’d get a few seconds of rest before the next blast. (Several times during the day I stopped. The wind actually blew The Mule and me back a step when I tried to start again.)
Other then the wind it was an absolutely beautiful day.
I crossed into Illinois after noon. There was no welcome sign. They must have known I was coming.
Most of my riding was done with my head down to try to cheat the wind. I’d look up and see corn or soy or hay, realize I was still in a nightmare headwind, then put my head back down.
Weeks ago I planned this to be an easy 58 mile day to take advantage of the free camping in the park of the town of Iroquois. The park is beautiful but camping is no longer allowed.
My choices were ride another 20+ miles into the headwind for free camping in another town en route or ride 6 miles off route to Watseka and grab a hotel room. Watseka won without a fight. I simply could not handle another 20 miles of this headwind.
At a lunch stop I learned that there is a cross country cyclist ahead of me. I wonder if I’ll catch him.
Watseka is within eyesight of a massive wind farm. Those turbines were getting quite a workout today.
I spotted this house today, in Watseka. A painted lady with a wrap around porch and a tower. Perfect.
Finally Watseka has what all badass midwestern towns have, a humongous grain elevator.
The desk clerk at the hotel is from New Delhi. She was a nurse back home but her credentials did not transfer to the U. S. I told her about my blood clots and she knew all about DVTs and pulmonary embolisms.
So today I rode 67.5 miles, about 10 miles farther than planned. They were honest miles. Good miles.
This morning, tomorrow’s forecast was for similar winds but it has been revised to winds that will not crush your soul.
938 miles in the bag. I try not to think about how much farther I have to go.