Thursday, August 14, 2008

Illinois, Indiana, Michigam

Aug 11 2008
On to IL. The ride out from Madison was very picturesque with lots of rolling hills and pretty scenery. We didn’t get on the road till after 9:00 as we had sweep duties to take care of first. These included helping with breakfast, tearing down camp, checking the ground, and loading the gear truck. It was a long day on the road, but it went pretty well. We stopped at the church in Delevan, as they were serving lunch. It was a very late lunch as it was now 3:00PM. We did end up fixing 2 flats less than 5 miles from our next camp at Woodstock, IL and arrived in camp about 6 PM. Delevan and Woodstock are both very pretty towns with nicely restored homes and buildings. We also have now crossed into Illinois, our 8th state. The scenery is still pretty but the drivers easily rate as the worst of the trip. They must not have any driver education here.
Trip total 2983

Aug 12, 2008
Today we rode the Fox River bike trail for almost ½ the day. It was nice to be away from the IL drivers for a while, and the scenery was a welcome change from city streets. At the end of the path we even got a short police escort by a policeman on a bike. He was also helpful in giving us tips on how to deal with Chicago traffic. The second half of the trip was rather unnerving as it was almost all stop and go in heavy traffic. It was not at all enjoyable. We finally made it in one piece to Trinity College in Palos Heights. They made us feel very welcome. They even served us Chicago style pizza for supper. Before supper my daughter, Andi, showed up for a surprise visit. She was in Chicago to submit her work visa materials for her upcoming move to London, England. She was only able to stay for a little bit, but it was sure nice to see her. During supper I was able to visit with Ryan Z, one of Andi’s classmates . I was also able to visit with Brenda’s uncle, Arlan, who came out to see how I was making out on the trip.
Trip total 3068, daily log 85

Aug 13, 2008
We had a slightly different start to our day today as Trinity gave us an official sendoff. This delayed our start by almost 2 hours but it was a nice affirmation of our tour. About 40 or 50 of us took an alternate route for the first half of the day. We went to visit Roseland Christian center in Roseland. They work with homeless and displaced persons. We spent about 45 minutes there and they told us about their work and the great amount of need in the greater Chicagoland area. I might add that some of the group felt a little uneasy about riding through that part of Chicago, but the ride went much better and the people were more friendly and courteous than any we had yet seen in the Chicago area. We proceeded into the next state, Indiana, and stopped at Highland 2nd CRC. They fed us a great sub sandwich meal and all the fixings. It was a great welcome to Indiana. After leaving there we finished the day at camp in Dunes State Park -- a beautiful park on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Trip total 3126, daily log 59 miles

Aug 14, 2008
Well, we’re on to Michigan. The road today was very scenic and also very rough in places. I hope the bike can stand the strain for another couple weeks. I looked it over well when I got into camp and everything still looks good. I met up with Mike E, the roving recumbent reporter from Michigan. We’re going to supper later tonight. It was nice to travel under trees that almost covered the roadway and then come to a section that looked out over Lake Michigan. A big portion of the trip was on roads and streets that border the lake. The number of really big fancy homes was kind of staggering. Michigan is supposedly on hard economic times, but you sure don’t see it on the lake front. We are staying at Baseline Middle school in South Haven MI tonight. And we have some nice shade trees also.
Trip total 3210, daily Log 84 miles

2 comments:

Brent Pierson said...

Rick I'm still reading blogs(thanks for the update and pictures)and praying of you and all the riders.

Ride Safe, Ride Strong!
Brent

CalvinGirl said...

Hi Mr. Gritters! I'm continuing to enjoy your blog. Thanks for posting pictures! My mom and I are planning on being at Calvin Saturday around 12:15, so hopefully we'll see you soon!
~Ruth F.