Posts Tagged ‘corn fields’

Day 12 – Crime Scene Detour

January 11, 2009

On this particular morning, we didn’t have food at the cabin for breakfast, so we got packed up and headed out, looking for a breakfast place. This often consisted of a convenience store, and this day was no exception. A breakfast roll, a sausage in a blanket, and PowerBars comprised my repast.

More rough riding in Michigan

More rough riding in Michigan

We consulted our map, and rode out on Seymore Road, which we soon nicknamed Seymour Holes Road, as it was probably the worst maintained paved road we had ridden yet. But the traffic wasn’t too bad, so we weren’t miserable. After about 8 miles, Seymore Holes Road intersected Route 21, which we turned onto. Route 21 was a smoother road, and we blasted on through Ovid and Shepardsville.

Blasting along on Rt 21

Blasting along a quiet Michigan road

We stopped at an Applebees in Corrunna for lunch, a restaurant we had never been to before. Our waiter was incredibly pushy! “Can I start you off with an appetizer? May I suggest our Mozzarella sticks, for $3.99, or perhaps a delicious soup for $4.99?” It was not the kind of restaurant experience we had hoped for. We ate anyway.

Back in the saddle, it soon began to rain. Rain similar to the day before, quickly drenching us. We pulled off the road, and took meager shelter under a shagbark hickory tree, and watched the 42 wheeler tractor trailers go by, spraying up huge geysers of stinging cold wet mist from under their wheels.

Ice Cream and a pink Mustang

Ice Cream and a pink Mustang

Once the road was dry enough to ride on again, we set out once more, a little slower now, as parts of the road were still wet. The 42 wheelers still went by, but the mist they sprayed up wasn’t quite as brutal as it had been during the rain. We pedaled on to St. John, where we stopped to visit a model railroad museum, which turned out to be closed, but we also found an ice cream shop, with a pink Ford Mustang on the roof.

The road we were traveling on soon came to a detour around a two car accident that was a felony crime scene. The police were using surveying equipment to determine which direction the two cars had come from, and the traffic cops wouldn’t let us through and wouldn’t tell us where the detour went. We assumed it was a pretty long detour, as most roads around here had few intersections. Also, there was near certainty that the detour would take us on dirt roads, which we were trying to avoid at all costs. So we headed on the detour, and once out of sight of the cops, traipsed through the edge of a agricultural field, avoiding the crops planted near our feet. Coming back out on to the road past the cops, we found that we would have to pass the cops on the other side of the detour. Fortunately, they gave us no trouble. We pedaled on.

We stopped in the town of Fowler, at yet another convenience store. It began to rain, so I plugged in, and uploaded a blog page, and some photos. A woman asked us about our trip, and it turned out she had just finished a 300 mile bike ride, and was able to reccmmend us another state park to spend the night. She was so interested in our trip, that Dad and I were sure she would offer to let us pitch our tent in their yard. She did not offer, so we bought dinner, and headed on our way to Ionia State Park.

Another mini cabin

Another mini cabin

The road was smooth, with minimal traffic, but it soon began to rain. We decided to continue to ride, and soon we came to the gates of Ionia State Park. Then there was the rough two mile road in to the ranger station, past a peaceful lake, and through some terrible potholes. We stopped at the ranger station, but the ranger was out. We’d called ahead and reserved a cabin, so we just headed in, past many more RVs than we had seen the previous night. Again, it rained.

Dinner consisted of the tortillas, bologna, turkey, ham and cheddar we bought at the store in Fowler. We watched another movie, blogged and slept.

Stats:
Miles: 105
Avg Spd: 17.8
Mechanicals: 0
Roadkill/ mile: 0.3
Serious cyclist: 0
Hours of Rain: 3
Miles of highway with shoulder: 12
Minutes Dad spent thinking about work: 0
Hours of rolling time: unrecorded

Day 4 – Cornfields of New York

August 30, 2008

We took down our tent at the marina, and, although we couldn’t see the lake, the sunlight on the water was really pretty. There was a light mist rising off the water, and the sunlight created a glow above the water.

The gorgeous light on the marina

The gorgeous light on the marina

  We packed up our wet tent, and headed west, in search of breakfast.

 

We happened upon a KwikFill gas station, and got some breakfast pizza, coffee, tea, and pastries. I typed for a little while, and we were on our way.

The tentsite.  Yes, right next to the RV.  Ugh.

The tentsite. Yes, right next to the RV. Ugh.

 

 

The roads stretched on in front of us, and on we rode. A cardboard ice cream sign was tacked up to a highway sign post, so we stopped in at the Sunoco station to have some ice cream. The woman who served us had family who biked long distances also, so she could relate to our trek. We watched an 18 wheeler drive into the station, and a pickup truck had to back up to get out of the way. It seemed that the pickup was just parked in the enter/exit lane.

We cycled on, past seemingly endless cornfields, gigantic tractors, and few workers. A few of the farms had “Company of the Month” signs out front. It seemed like a neat idea; promoting the work of the farms.

Further on, we came to a section of road that was being re-paved. There was little scarified pavement, fortunately, because it is really difficult to ride on. There was, however, a one lane section, with a flagger on each end. The traffic in the waiting line was pretty long, and once we were flagged through, and although we were cranking along at 20 plus mph, it was a really long section of one lane road. About half way through, there was a side road, and a flagger there, who directed us to take the side road instead, since we were holding up too much traffic behind us. “Hey! You on the bikes! Go that way, wudda ya think, ya own the road!?” The side road turned out to work better anyway, since there was almost no traffic, and the road was smoother.

As we approached a rare “hill”, we spotted a little breakfast place. We stopped in, and had some breakfast for lunch. Ahead of us, the cornfields stretched on, occasionally replaced by the other local cash crop, soybeans. We picked the canal trail back up, and rode along its stone dusty surface for a while, then called one of Dad’s friends. We would be staying the night at his house. Comparing his directions to our map and the trails and roads proved difficult, but we left the canal and Route 31, and headed north at Palmyra. Five miles up the gradual hill, and over the tracks we rolled into the gravel driveway.

We had a nice informal dinner of grains, pasta and well needed vegetables. The Democratic National Convention was on later so we watched/discussed/talked over that for a while. Much too late, we went to bed, noting that the leftovers of Hurricane Fay would probably make Thursday wet.

 

Stats:

Miles: 86
Avg Spd: 15.3
Mechanicals: 0
Bunnies: 0
Trains: 2
Roadkill: 17