Saturday, July 4, 2020

Tricycling in the Shade with Fellow Trike Riders

Hey there, it is HOT in southern Illinois but shady on the trail.

Thanks to Jeanne, who I contacted through a recumbent trikes group on Facebook, she has visited with me and rode with me and now has offered me an air conditioned porch with wifi so I can reach out to you.

I will see how far I get posting this.  Traveling and riding take up so much time, that I have little time to keep up with writing to you.  But here goes...

July 1, 2020, Birthday Ride (not all 67 miles though).

My birthday!  I rode from my campsite at Timberlake Campground in Brandon, Mississippi to meet up with Jean and Keith and their triking friends.

Jean wasn't feeling well so it turned out I rode with three guys around the area.  They don't ride the trail that goes through the area, but instead weave up and down the shady streets of the suburbs.  It was a delightful ride of about 26 miles?  I don't have a speedometer.  I think that is what he said.

 At one point we rode across a causeway.  There is a huge reservour in the area.

After the ride I ate and shopped and took my supper to Jean's and Keith's.  I sat on the patio and worked with a nice fan pointed at me.

They have a couple fig trees in their yard. 

I noticed that Jean had a tarp hung up next to her shed.  She told me that the man that lives behind her likes to mow the yard completely naked.   Ha ha...  what a hoot!

It started to thunder and threaten rain so I moved into a porch area that was completely cut off from the house.

Jean and Keith are my neighbors in the winter.  I will see them again in November, or maybe I will come back through this way when I return to Florida.

Back at camp I worked out my upper body a bit and then used the outdoor shower by the pool to shower with my clothes on, washing my clothes at the same time.  As the COVID numbers keep going up, I try to stay outside, or isolated. 

I found this pretty green spider by the water spigot.

Tomorrow I have six hours of travel at least, according to

The Tunnel Hill Trail goes through Vienna, Illinois.  That is where I will be camping three nights.

July 2, 2020

Listening, Learning, Loving It

The phone googlemap app was programmed to avoid highways, but today I changed the option because I was going to be traveling over six hours and if I didn't use the interstate it would be well over seven hours.

I have been listening to a fun book.  How the Penguins Saved Veronica.  It is a fun story and kept me entertained.  

When I found myself going over the  Missisippi I started to panic.  Did I take a wrong turn?  Did I program the destination wrong?  I pulled off and checked,  I guess the route to Southern Illinois from Brandon, Mississippi crosses the Mississipi River twice.  I was ok.  No need to panic.

I pulled into a place in Arkansas to take a break and discovered a bike path right next to the empty parking lot I chose to pull into.  It is right on the flood plains of the Mississippi, I think.

 I don't know how far the trail went.  I walked a ways, the kiosks weren't maps but bits of history and exercise pointers.  I learned that the most number of deaths from a sinking ship occurred near there, the Sultana.  The kiosk had numbers that don't quite match the Wikipedia page.  The ship was built for about 400 passengers and was loaded with over 1800 passengers.  It was like 1500 on the Titanic, wasn't it?  This was just after the Civil War ended and it was mostly prisoners of War being shipped back north.

I just can't imagine.  The pain of war, the horror of being mistreated as a prisoner, and then finally freed and put on a ship for home.  The hope they must have had.

Then three of the boilers exploded.  Wow.

The scenery from the trail was lovely.

I finally reached my campground and I was surprised.  I thought it was a Forest campground because that was in the name.  There wasn't a speck of shade on my campsite.  It is supposed to be 90 degrees and I have three nights here.

I thought I was pretty clever when I rigged up a way to hold my umbrella over the picnic table so I could dine outside.

 It only lasted until the first breeze blew it all over.  Oh well,  my air conditioner works!

I love my outdoor sink.  I use it a lot for washing my hands, washing my hair, washing dishes and cleaning vegetables.

But already the faucet part of it is leaking and a good stream is coming out.  I have to shut it off by going around the trailer to the shut off by the connection.  As I am writing this I just remembered that somewhere I packed a Y with individual shut offs.  That might work to save me some trips around the trailer... if I can find it.

Jean invited me over to enjoy her shade.  She provided local, Paducah, KY, wine.  Thank you!

 She has about five humming bird feeders.  We got to watch the buzzing hummers, and on the other feeder some cardinals and a tit-mouse and chickadee.

 Jean is an early rider.  She was willing to meet me at 7:00 in the morning to ride the Tunnel Hill Trail starting at the Vienna station.

When I got back to camp I found a hole in the screen where my bike handle bar had rubbed or hit.  At least it didn't bust the window.

I took the picture below out my back window.  The families behind me were having a roaring fire and five medium sized dogs were barking at every one that passed.  I didn't hear them much over the noise of the wonderful air conditioner.

Several friends back home have congratulated me for leaving.  It is getting scary in Florida.  The most new covid-19 cases of any state.  And the US is far exceeding any of the developed countries in the world.

I had the thought that I have wanted to wander like this for many years.  I am glad I took the leap and I am loving my luxury accommodations...  my Lilac.

July 3, 2020

The Shady Part of the Tunnel Hill Trail 

We rode the Tunnel Hill Trail!  It was lovely.  I remember riding it two other times.  Once I was with my biking group from Wisconsin.  This group of friends would go take a long weekend, go to a trail and stay and ride.  We had so much fun.

One time we rode the Tunnel Hill Trail.  I think we stayed at the Northern End of the trail.

The pictures below are from Heron Pond which is about one mile off the trail.  It was one of those wonderful surprises that you come across when traveling to new places.

Here are the pictures from today's ride.  I found myself smiling a lot.  It was lovely.

An on-you-honor shop along the trail.

Here is what these two pillars looked like in the railroad days.

We were done with our ride by noon.  I went home to eat.  Now Jean and I are going to Wineaux for dinner and wine... outside and she says the waitstaff wear masks!  Yippee!

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