Day 45 - Wyanet to Minooka - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2016

Day 45 - Wyanet to Minooka

Uh-oh - - -

I remember looking at a 7-day precipitation forecast back in Nebraska. There was a big blob over Iowa and Illinois. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t be too bad.” Hah!

I had the audacity to sleep a second round at dawn. I did manage to get everything packed up just as the storm hit. If I could have gone ½ mile further I could have been under a picnic shelter. But I was caught out - trees were useless. It was coming down in sheets - sideways.

Once I was thoroughly wet, I said, “What the heck.” So I rode to the shelter anyway and waited it out. When it let up, I rode all of two miles to Wyanet. Two miles! Still, nothing was open except for a c-store and the laundry. The coffee was warm as was the laundry.

It rained some more - - and some more. When it let up again, I rode another huge 6 miles to Princeton. Princeton has a great store-front UCC church - Open Prairie. I had been in touch with the pastor, Mary Gay McKinney. It turns out, Gordie and Deb Grant served here years back. So I caught the service - a bit tardy - and talked with everyone afterwards.

Back on the road again - heading northeast to take advantage of the wind. I come to the tiny hamlet of Arlington and think, “Well, the bar is open.” What a pleasant surprise! The owner had Swedish meatballs and zucchini bread out. And the folks there were super friendly.

Cornfields on Both Sides of a Farm Road
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Between the rain, church, and the bar, I wasn’t getting down the road none. The farm roads were totally empty and delightful. Until I hit construction.

I tried to get through an area that was mud - Illinois farm mud. And it had rained hard that morning, too. Big mistake. Mud up to my calves and halfway up the bicycle. I stopped at a farmhouse and begged to use their hose. Another hour of frustration.

Empty Barn
(How I was feelin')
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So I get back to riding with a gritty chain despite my best efforts. And many, many miles to do to get to any place to stay. I decided to get a motel in Minooka because I knew it would be late. There is amazingly nothing on US 52 for miles - nothing - like Nevada. (Well - except for cornfields instead of sagebrush) Pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal.

When I got into town, I found that the only motel was an expensive Hampton Inn. While checking for possible alternatives, I got hit by another storm. Soaked, tired, frustrated - I ended up checking into the Hampton anyhow. It was midnight by the time I got the laundry done and got in the bed.

Today's ride: 78 miles (126 km)
Total: 2,443 miles (3,932 km)

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