Before I get into my tough ride today, I want to give a few highlights of my WS stay last night. Before the concert there was a potluck dinner. I enjoyed meeting some of the locals and the dinner was delicious- I went for thirds! Later, I was standing in the yard watching the first band (Concrete Slim) and a nice lady came up to me and said “we have an extra chair and an extra glass- please come sit with us and have a glass of wine.” It is just not possible for me to remember all the acts of kindness strangers have shown me on this trip- that aspect of this trip has exceeded my lofty expectations. The second group playing at the concert has been touring for over a year and were also staying at the WS house with me. Ashley sang and played acoustical guitar and Ed sang and played lead guitar. Their group- WhitherWard- was very, very good. I also had the chance to talk at length with Ed and Ashley and they are really interesting and very nice people. And I think I already told you that my WS host, John, was great, too. What an evening! I don’t like staying in hotels any more- they are so bland… So I left this morning tired but with some great memories. The weather this morning was about 50 degrees, sunny and a 15+ mph headwind. As it warmed up the wind increased…but at least the hills were not quite as steep as yesterday. The first 45 miles I rode into a stiff wind and through rolling hills completely cultivated with corn and soybeans. Since I already have many photos of corn and soybeans, I only stopped to take photos when I needed a rest or a snack and I deleted those photos later. I ate my lunch in a pretty park in Henry, IL and then left for the final 35 mile push to Wenona. I went through a few miles of nice woods approaching the Illinois River and then for 4 or 5 miles after I crossed the river. The woods were shady and blocked the wind so I enjoyed them! I think the hills were getting more gentle east of the Illinois and I just pushed through to Wenona- and another 4 miles beyond to my hotel. It was another great training day, physically and mentally. I’m going to be ready for the Adirondack Mtns in about 2 weeks! Daily mileage: 81, trip miles: 2,572.
The WS house showing the concert setup and Concrete Slim (the local band). I did not get photos of WhitherWard because it was too dark:
The roads today were hilly, but the hills were not as large or steep as yesterday: