Robots Walk Among Us - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

June 8, 2014

Robots Walk Among Us

Prophetstown State Recreation Area, Illinois

At first glance, today's ride appeared to have the potential to be another hilly one.  But after a long descent out of Stockton, Highway 78 twisted and turned in and around the hills, but not UP them.  I passed many nicely painted red barns and big, well kept farmhouses.  The farming business seems to be quite prosperous around here.

I saw my first deer of the trip and another huge turtle that appeared to be readying itself for a mad dash across the highway.  There were a few hills before and after the historic town of Mount Carroll and then suddenly the terrain flattened out in a serious way.

What the . . . ?
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My campsite tonight is along the Rock River and underneath a grove of big oak trees.  The trunk of one of these trees is about 15 feet around.

A robot disguised as a 70-year old man came over to my campsite and invited me to his site for some hot dogs and coffee.  I had already eaten but, to be sociable and to see if the hot dog/coffee combination was some kind of joke, I went over there.

Robot #1, who's name I have forgotten, introduced me to his robot cousin named Burl.  I think "cousin" in robot-speak means they were assembled in the same robot factory.

How did I know they were robots?  Whenever I would tell a story or make a statement, there would be no reaction whatsoever.  Never a frown, a groan, a laugh, nor a smile.  When they told their stories, it was with the same lack of emotion and with no inflection in their voices.  They caught five nice channel catfish in the river today, but you couldn't tell they were pleased or excited about it.  (I tried to picture how robots fish--probably some kind of high-tech noodling.)  They were friendly robots, but robots nonetheless.

Jim and the Giant Oak
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Today's ride: 52 miles (84 km)
Total: 376 miles (605 km)

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