I woke this morning to grey skies and rain. Decided to wait two hours before starting to see what the weather would bring. After a meagre breakfast of whole-wheat toast & peanut butter, I suited up and took to the road in light rain. Had all my lights blinking and my flag blowing . . . northeast. Yippee. I had a tailwind, which made my day's end average just a bit over 15.3 mph, a good deal different than the pathetic 10 mph on all my days with a headwind. I must have stopped five or six times in the first 5 miles, however, to take something off, put something on, adjust clothes, and take between-raindrops pix. Finally got it right. My only stop was in Heyworth at a Casey's. Drank an energy coffee drink.
|A lovely church (I think) on the east side of Heyworth|
I was on US-136 E for the entire 53-mile ride. I think it may be part of historic Route 66, as I caught a sign as I was pulling out that said something to that effect. Too nasty to return and read it properly though. The first 10 miles or so were shoulderless. I picked up a shoulder in Heyworth, but lost it again at the intersection of US-150. US-136 is flat to gently rolling 2-lane, and there was very little traffic, most of it semis taking a shortcut I guess. They were very polite and moved to the other lane so as not to blind me with their spray.
|Most common sight on today's route, though generally more of them, maybe five or six per farm|
Really not much to say about the ride which was essentially through newly plowed fields of dark brown dirt and past grain storage bins and tree-island farms--those that are in the middle of vast plowed fields and surrounded with windbreak trees. I stopped to take a photo of a tree-island farm, but it came out blurry with the rain. I did get a photo (see below) of the trees used predominately for the windbreak. They are very dense evergreens and planted alternately in three rows . . . on the west side of the properties. So, the prevailing wind must come from the west. I only hope the wind continues to blow from the southwest through Indiana, where I have three consecutive nearly 80-mile days.
|The dense evergreens used as windbreaks|
About 15 miles from Rantoul it began to rain in earnest. I arrived soaked to the skin. My shoes are stuffed with newspaper and my clothes are on the spin cycle in the washer as I type. The first thing I did on arrival at a little after 1 p.m., was peel off the raincoat, put on my windbreaker and squish to the next-door Arby's for lunch. Had an Arby's sandwich and an orange cream shake, the latter like drinking a creamsicle and very tasty. Arby's must put a ton of salt into their roast beef, however, because I've been very thirsty since eating there.
|Trying to capture the engine, but it was slow in getting to the crossroads|
|. . . and then hustled by before my camera could get a photo|
Took a nap after getting in and eating. Now writing up the day. Don't know what I will do in this small town at the crossroads of I-57 tomorrow, but will ferret something out.