The North East is going to be the physical crux of this journey, but the Mid-West is going to be the psychological crux. Although often pretty in a rural fashion, the pattern is brutal and relentless: corn, soy beans, corn, soybeans, farm house, barn, silo, corn, soy beans, corn, soy beans--more soy beans for variety--then some more corn, farm house, barn, silo.... These patches are separated by stands of extremely thick trees that rise like islands or mesas out of the agribusiness sea. My father once said that it was possible for a tree squirrel to go from the Atlantic to the Mississippi without touching the ground. When I realize that at one time all these tree-islands formed a single arboreal continent, I can visualize what he meant. What a true wilderness of trees that must have been!
I seem to be getting my sea-legs. Yesterday, through a morning storm and heavy winds, I managed almost 82 miles. Today I'll clock about 70. I rise like the undead at 4am to do my chores and roll off into the darkness on silent wheels, my small headlamp cutting a small patch in the surrounding night. It's a great time to be out, and cycling during the transition is interesting. By lunch time I've logged a good portion (most) of my miles for the day. As long as it stays hot and muggy, I'll be on this routine.
Hey, I just found out! I crossed into a new time zone. Holy trans-American, World Champion Recumbent Cyclo-Tourist, Batman, that rocks beyond rock. It's like uber rock, or something. I should dispense with Indiana tomorrow. Illinois is a bit longer and should take me three full days, but then it's due south for a while along the Mississippi, Huck Finn on a 'bent and all that.
Here are some photos from the wilds of Indiana:
THIS is a "rancid meat morning." What did I tell you?
Flowers I found this morning:
My lunch stop today: