Friday, September 2, 2011
August 31: The free place in Urbana sort of worked out. If you don't mind being rousted in the middle of the night by the police. A local cop, the second to run my license for warrants in Iowa thus far, had been called out by a concerned citizen who thought a drunk was sleeping at the pavilion. In their defense, my stumbling end of the day gait could easily be confused with intoxication.
On a positive note, I ended up befriending the officer and he called ahead to my next two counties so I will not be bothered again for a few days at least.
I fell back into a fitful sleep then rose early with another twenty mile day ahead. The trail kept me entertained with some interesting signs. Tractor crossings, for example seemed a bit out of place on a hiking/biking path. One would have to be both blind and deaf to not hear or see them coming. The loud growl of a John Deere will hardly be confused with the soft purr of a Porsche 911 and the former has rarely been used as a drag racer outside of county fairs.
Cow crossings caused me to daydream about being stuck at one. I'd feel like a driver waiting for a train to pass as Molly and the girls were lazily herded onto new pasture.
Neither earth-shaking event materialized and in ten miles I hit Brandon. That's the name of a town so don't worry about an assault and battery charge. There were two restaurants to choose from and sadly Phat Albert's wasn't open yet so I visited the Homestyle Cafe. Inside I dined on braut and kraut and chatted with the locals, learning about celebrities such as President HW Bush, Loretta Lynn, and Roz from "Night Court" who had once stopped by the cafe. I also discovered the Nature Trail's bridge over the Cedar River was currently functioning more as a jetty.
As a result, I was forced to take back roads to reach another span. Yet again I will fail to complete every step of one of the major trails within the ADT. Here is the tragic history to date:
1) C&O Canal: left at mile 168 of 184 to head into West Virginia.
2) North Bend: exited with one mile to go. Seriously.
3) Buckeye Trail: got off that disaster ASAP.
4) Cardinal Greenway: hopped on in the middle.
5) I&M Canal: gun shots forced a detour to Starved Rock.
6) Hennepin Canal: started just a mile and a half into trail.
The second half of the day was oppressively hot out on the open road. I never saw a sign for McFarlane Park, my original intended destination, so I continued on to LaPorte. In town I found a small park which looked to be a good place to crash. I interrogated the natives at the Getaway Bar and Grill to see if I would be okay there. They said yes. I'm not holding my breath.
21 miles/1467 total miles