Thursday, August 4, 2011
A Rude Awakening
August 3: One rain drop fell, followed immediately by thousands of like-minded fellows. The hot, stultifying air had caused me to leave the fly off, so I jumped up and raced to apply my rain condom. The wind was still no longer and played havoc with my efforts. As I fumbled with the straps a thick branch came crashing from a tree only a few feet away. Despite the ensuing heart attack I succeeded in connecting with the stakes. I darted back inside to lie on my already soaked sleeping bag and hold the tent together in the fierce wind. Let's just say I've had miserable nights and leave it at that.
I left the debris strewn park around seven, bent on making ground in the early morning hours. Two gentlemen section-biking the canal trail helped me pass the time by stopping to talk with me on a couple of occasions. John and Wayne provided me with a sandwich, water, and a little road money. I know you think I am making those names up, but if so pilgrim, deal with this fact: life is too real for you.
The scenery improved as well. Channahon is the point where the menage a trois of the DuPage, Kankakee, and Des Plaines Rivers converge using an advanced position from the Kama Sutra to become the Illinois River, which means "kinky" in a fictional Indian language of my choosing. The large waterway flowed to my left while the suddenly clear canal lay to my right.
Signs of modern man were lacking for most of the walk. The old canal towns of Aux Sable and Dresden had dried up when the I&M folded in 1933. For once the railroad was not the villain - the more efficient Illinois Waterway spelled the doom of the once vibrant canal.
I did reach civilization around four, arriving in Morris. I dined at Corleone's and moved on to Gebhard Park, after first leaving the gun and taking the cannoli. I was tired, and Gebhard had made me an offer I could not refuse.
15 miles/1193 total miles/2 awful Godfather jokes