Friday, June 30, 2017

June 29--Day 17--Soup's On!

Today's post could have many titles--"Welcome to Ohio", "Not One, But Two Major Rivers", " A Lot Less Corn Now", "Defiance County--Isn't That From Scandal?", or "What Are Those Critters?". All good, 


There was a little excitement as I left the Community building in Monroeville Park this morning. As I opened the door to wheel Tilmann out, I was met by 5 Allan County Sheriff's Deputies. I thought, what did do? Of course, it wasn't me they were after. They asked me if any of the other doors were unlocked. I told them not to my knowledge. Clearly they were looking for someone. I decided my best move was to pedal off to the Blueberry Pancake House for breakfast.


After a delicious breakfast of French Toast with bananas, I next stopped at the library to use the wifi. Although the library wasn't open, Chris was there and came out to talk to me. He gave me a little more insight into small town living (namely, don't piss off any of the big families that run the town).


Just a few miles into today's ride, I hit the Ohio/Indiana Stateline. In fact, I rode along the state line for a few miles before officially entering Ohio. I took this shadow picture. 

Riding along the state line

Technically, I'm in Ohio, but my shadow is in Indiana! I came to a main highway, and saw the Welcome to Ohio sign. I took a photo with that sign, even though I wasn't going on the highway. I wasn't sure if the road I'd be turning on would have a sign (like how Indiana didn't). Well, it did, so I took another photo, this time with Tilmann. This sign wasn't as fancy as the highway one, but at least there was one.

The highway fancy sign

The real road I was on with Tilmann



Once I actually entered Ohio, the road angled Northeast. That was to be the case for most of the day. Lucky for me, the wind was blowing from the southwest, and it was blowing hard today! That was good because I had a lot of miles to do. 


Although I continued to pass cornfields and soybeans, they were not nearly as prevalent as the last several days. I also went through a lot more towns. Payne was the first one which wasn't much of a town, but not too much further was Paulding. This is the county seat of Paulding County, and had this nice courthouse building.

Big building for a small town



Awhile after Paulding, at Junction, I turned to follow the Auglaise River. It's a pretty good size river.

Auglaize River

I followed it into Defiance County, and the town of Defiance. Defiance was ringing a bell. Wasn't that the county on the TV show, Scandal, that they rigged the presidential election so Fitzgerald Grant won the election? I'm pretty sure it was. Who knew there was a real Defiance County?

The Defiance County of Scandal fame

As for the town, it was the largest town I've been in since Muscatine, Iowa. There was even a REAL grocery store! I was finally able to get some bananas, apples, and avocados! It's a good thing I had that awesome tailwind, because I added a lot of weight to the food panniers!


Outside of Defiance I came to Independence Dam State Park. There's no camping, but I checked it out anyway. Now I was riding along the Maumee River, another large river. I saw two great herons in the river.

Independence Dam

Great Heron

If I'd read the narrative a little closer on my map, I could have taken a canal tow path for a couple of miles, then gotten back on the road. Oh well, it was just a short bit of backtracking (into the wind) to the road. 


I was continuing to make my way toward Napolean, when I saw this bike fix it station, seemingly in the middle of nowhere! I'd been thinking I should add some air to my tires as I hadn't since I started. How convenient that there would be a bike pump just waiting for me on the side of the road!

Bike pump!



As I came into the outskirts of Napolean, I saw a bike path, but the problem with those is I don't know where it goes. On a short day, I'd check it out, but today was not a short day. Besides, if I had gone on the path, I would have missed getting ice cream at the Frosty Boy. Very similar to the Whippy Dip in Monroeville, they had all kinds of goodness. I got a turtle sundae and a big cream soda. I was going to go for my favorite soft serve, but it was so hot that I would have just had to gulp it down before it melted. I like to savor my ice cream just a little!


I crossed the river in Napolean, and turned to continue following it on the south bank. Just a couple miles out of town I came to the Campbell's Soup Company Factory. It is huge! There was even this huge can of Tomato Soup! If only I had a huge grilled cheese sandwich to go with it! I had no idea Campbell's was in Napolean, Ohio. They had a Visitor's entrance, but I didn't see anything about factory tours. Might have been cool to see.

BIG can of Tomato Soup!



I finished the last 13 miles to Mary Jane Thurston State Park. It was a little strange because I didn't see anything mentioning a campground. I went to the park office. Yes, there is camping, but the campground was another half mile down the road. Still, I registered (back to expensive camping at $20), then rode on to the campground part. The tenting area is right on the river in a nice grassy area that cars can't drive on. There's only one other family in tents.


There is supposed to be a storm coming through, but it's not here yet. But, I'm ready for it if it does show up.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the critters! I saw four of these furry brown critters with kind of beaver looking faces, low to the ground squatty bodies, and a tail that looks like it was an afterthought. I saw all of them when I was riding along the rivers. I'm guessing, maybe muskrat???


So, as you can see, this post could have had many titles. I chose one about Campbell's because it was a complete surprise to me that this is where Campbell's Soup is made!


Total miles for today: 75.7



Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 28--Day 16--Recipient of the June Curry Trail Angel Award

The small town of Monroeville, Indiana has embraced the long distance cyclist!


I'm not sure when I started thinking 40 miles was a short day, but that's what I thought today. Maybe it's because the last few days have been many more miles. I left Kil-so-quah at 8:00 (still feels like I'm waking up at 6:00, but I'm really waking up at 7:00). Today's wind had shifted, and was definitely coming more from the south. It wasn't bad, but my average speed reflected the change in wind direction.


There was a surprising amount of truck traffic on the road today. Dump trucks, and those funky sprayer tractors. I got a photo of one. Generally, I yield to them if at all possible.

Big tractor



I did see a rather unusual sight, a full size sailboat sitting in a pond. I thought it was so curious, that I took a photo. First of all, how'd they get it in there, and secondly, why?

Pond sailboat?



I arrived in Monroeville at about 12:30. I needed groceries, so I went to the Dollar General. At least this one had small cans of chicken. No produce to speak of (yes, I'll have no bananas, I'll have no bananas today...or tomorrow). 


After getting a few groceries, I went to the library to upload the last two blogposts. Chris, the manager, was a wealth of information about the town. He told me where the cyclists only camping was, and even called around until he found someone who could open the building. Really nice guy!


I headed over to the Monroeville Community Park, and met up with Larry. He let me in, and showed me where the showers, laundry, and cots were. I took a shower, and started a load of laundry. While my clothes were washing, I walked down to the Whippy Dip, an ice cream place in town, and had a soft serve cone (they had a bazillion flavors of shakes and blizzards, but I was in the mood for soft serve). 

Whippy Dip



Back at my accommodations, while I was waiting for the dryer to finish, Warren dropped by. He is the main go-to for the cyclists (he just hadn't answered his phone when Chris first called). He gave me the real tour, and also gave me a key to the building (I was to lock the door if I went into town). He showed me the guestbook, and I could see where Sharon, the gal I met in Odell, had stayed here too. The latest eastbounder, like myself, was through here 3 days ago. I probably won't catch up to him.


Monroeville received the June Curry Trail Angel Award in 2005 from Adventure Cycling Association. June Curry was known as the Cookie Lady on the Trans Am Route. She passed away few years ago. This award, in her name, is given to a person or community nominated by and voted on by cyclists each year. It's a pretty big deal, and Monroeville deserves to have received it. It's framed on the wall along with copies (albeit old ones) of the two routes maps that go through Monroeville (now just Northern Tier, as Great Lakes Section 3 ends in Denver, IN--where I went through yesterday).





Later, I took myself for pizza and another ice cream cone. Having walked around town here (and other small towns), I've made a few observations. Here they are, in no particular order of importance.


Colleen's Observations of Small Town Life


  1. While there are cars everywhere, people seem to get around mostly by golf cart.
  2. Libraries (if there is one) have odd hours.
  3. There is no fresh produce (even though this is farm country).
  4. Restaurant food (if there is a restaurant AND it's open) is pretty cheap--small pizza, salad, and a drink for $7.50.
  5. Older people are very friendly and talkative, so are the kids. The middle age adults, not so much.
  6. And on a sad, final observation, while crime is low, drug use is high (according to townspeople I've talked to).



There you have it. Tomorrow I will have finished the "I" States. I'll be crossing into Ohio just a few miles into tomorrow's ride. I think I'll celebrate by having breakfast at the Blueberry Pancake House (maybe there will be some fruit).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 27--Day 15--3 1/2 Miles Were Delightful

Apparently, I crossed time zones yesterday. So, this morning, when I thought I left at 7:30, I really left at 8:00. Who knew??? Anyway, here's an interesting photo from last night. This was after the first storm, but before a second batch of rain (probably from that cloud). 

Ominous cloud



Today was not very exciting, except for the 3 1/2 miles on the Nickel Plate Trail, and the rollercoaster road through Salamonie State Forest. The Nickel Plate Trail is much longer than 3 1/2 miles, but that's all that was on my route. I rode it from Deedsville to Denver (not that Denver!). Then I was back on the road. It was a very nice paved trail through a tunnel of trees, and occasional open spots where there were flowers. Denver was supposed to have a convenience store, but I think it was just a snack place at the ballfield, and it wasn't open. That was fine, I didn't need anything.

Nickel Plate Trail--the best 3 1/2 miles!
Flowers along the Nickel Plate Trail



Largo did have a convenience store, so I took a break there and had some lunch. Largo is right on the edge of Salamonie State Forest. I had originally planned to stay at the campground in the forest, but since I'd gone further yesterday, I pushed on. As I said, the road was a rollercoaster through the forest. Today was the first I've had to use the climbing gears in the last few days. My legs didn't like it so much.


There is the Salamonie River and Salamonie Lake. I rode over the dam that separates the two (and created the lake). Here's photos of each.

Salamonie Lake

Salamonie River



Once I left the forest, I was back to 12.5 miles of straight road. Today there was still a tailwind, but much much less. I felt the wind on my face from my own moving! That has not been the case the last three days. It was actually nice to not have such a strong tailwind. I could stop and not feel like I was going to be pushed forward! I know I know, one should never complain about a tailwind!


The place I'm staying tonight is called Kil-So-Quah State Recreation Area. It's on a lake called J. Edward Roush Lake. No idea who he is/was. For a Tuesday, there are quite a few people here. My map said this place was primitive. There are hookup (electric) sites and non-hookup. I guess what makes it primitive is that there are only vault toilets. There is piped water though. There is some serious shooting going on across the lake. I'm assuming target practice. 

Kil-so-quah on J. Ed's Lake



That's about it for today. Tomorrow will be a short day because I really want to stay in Monroeville at a cyclist only place. Plus, I could use a short day.



Total miles today: 64

June 26--Day 14--78 Miles...That's Enough!

I finally had an opportunity to go further than I planned--a chance to take advantage of the tailwind.


I left Iroquois around 7:15. Four miles into today's ride I crossed into my final "I" state, Indiana. There was no "Welcome to Indiana" sign, so...I made my own! 

Who needs a sign?



The first town I came to was Brook. My map said there was a library. I needed to upload the last two day's posts. I arrived at 8:40, but the library didn't open until 9:00. I decided that it was close enough, so I would wait. Carol, the librarian, arrived shortly thereafter, and let me come in a bit early. I looked around while she got things going. What a beautiful library! It's the nicest library building I've been in. The children's section was downstairs. It looked really fun and inviting. Once Carol finished opening, she gave me the wifi password and I got my posts uploaded. I could have spent all day there, but I had miles to go.

Beautiful Brook Library



Except for Brook, I didn't encounter another town with anything until Buffalo, which was where I originally planned to stay (well, a couple miles down the road). There was only a convenience store, but I got a sandwich and some chips. I got a Coke because it had "Kyle" on it.

Here's to you, Kyle!

Several people talked to me, told me rain was coming. One guy commented that I looked like the wicked witch from the west, like I haven't heard that before! I talked to the general manager of the store. She grew up in Buffalo, moved away, then moved back. I asked her what she likes about her town. She said everyone knows and looks out for each other, and the low crime. Although, she did say there are drugs. She's seen drug deals going on in the parking lot of the store (she lives in the house next door). She told them the surveillance camera had their license plate, so they'd better get off the property or she would call the police. She said the next night they were across the street in the cemetery. I guess the dead people don't care.


I pedaled on. I had 22.5 more miles to go to get to Fletcher Lake. There were dark clouds, but no rain. I saw a deer leaping through a corn field. Funny looking! About 2 miles from my destination, I saw another cyclist. I pulled up to him (Eric from Pennsylvania), and the first thing he said was, "I'm going the wrong way." Still, he was putting in the miles, having done 62 so far (he started at 6:30). He was going just 5 more miles to a house I had passed that offered water and conversation to cyclists. There didn't appear to be anyone home when I went by. Eric said the guy saw him and told him he could come to his house. Eric told me Fletcher Lake looked nice.


I arrived at the lake at 3:30 after doing 78.6 miles! It looked like a great place with a picnic table under one of those metal shelters. Restrooms are right there, power outlets too. The only problem was I couldn't find water. I finally walked to the house across the street as there were cars in the driveway. Judy, and 10 year old granddaughter, Gabby, came over and turned the water on. For the first time since Iowa, I had to pay for camping, but just $7.00. It's worth it because those rain clouds finally decided to drop some rain along with thunder and lightning. I set up my tent under the shelter. It's a nice place. 

Fletcher Lake




Even though I did 78 miles, I'm not terribly tired. I still had almost 6 1/2 hours of ride time. That's enough...

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 25--Day 13--Lucky 13!

I said goodbye to Sharon, as she left around 6:30 with another difficult day of headwinds ahead of her. 


I left the park about 7:00 wanting to find the library and see if the wifi was on so I could upload yesterday's post. I found the library, and the wifi was on, but unlike Iowa, the password was not the phone number. No uploading today. I also rode by one of the historic Route 66 gas stations. 

Historic Route 66 gas station



I headed out of town, pushed by that glorious tailwind! What a treat to see lots of wind turbines turning from a west wind!

Wind turbine and old barn

By 10:30 I had gone about 40 miles and arrived in Ashkum. I stopped for a snack at the BP mini mart. There I talked to Carol who lives in Elkhart, Indiana. She gave me her address and phone number, and said if I happen to go through Elkhart, I can stay with her. How nice is that? I have no idea yet if I do go through Elkhart. Even if I don't, that was sure nice of her to offer. I also talked to a gentleman who said they have had a lot of rain this season. He said the corn should be much taller by now, and that some farmers had to replant because the first planting got flooded out. That corn on the cob may be a bit more expensive this year!


I continued riding on long straight stretches directly east. In fact, out of the 64.5 miles I did today, only 12 were in a direction other than east. As the roads (except the interstates) are laid out in a 1 mile square grid pattern, it was very easy to know exactly where I was, and to predict what road was next. Of course, it was all pretty flat. My average today was 12.4mph. My maximum speed was only 18.4mph. That means there was zero downhill!


I rolled into Iroquois at about 1:30. Again, like yesterday, I looked to the map to see if I should go on. There is no other camping for a long way, so Iroquois it is. There is a city park. The map says to check in with the Village Trustee. I called the number, but it was disconnected. Actually, it wasn't. I had dialed the wrong area code, but no matter, because a gal named Carla saw me and asked if I was looking for a place to stay. I told her I was, and she said she would meet me at the white building to let me in. It is in the park, and called the Iroquois Village Hall. Once in front of the building I saw this sign.


My accommodations for the night



Carla let me and Tilmann in (Tilmann gets to bunk with John Deere). She set up a cot for me, showed me where the shower was (complete with towels), the fridge with water, and told me to make myself at home. The only thing they ask is that cyclists leave a thank you note in the book. 

Tilmann and John

My room--really, it's an office.



Since I hadn't had any lunch, I thought it would be nice to contribute to the local cafe by having a burger. I had hoped to get some bananas at the grocery store, but it was a minimally stocked store (the convenience stores I've run across have more to offer). I'll be going banana-less for the foreseeable future. 


There is a 50th wedding anniversary party going on in the pavilion next door. I could crash it, but I don't have a gift or even a card, so I'll pass. I'll just enjoy my indoor sleeping accommodations. Tomorrow I'll say goodbye to Illinois, and hello to Indiana. I hope Indiana is as great as Illinois has been!



Total miles today: 64.5

June 24--Day 12--Finally, Another Solo Woman!

This morning after crossing the Illinois River, and climbing away from the river basin, I had mostly just long straight roads heading east. Joy of joys, the wind was coming from the west! Finally, a truly awesome tailwind for miles upon miles of straight roads! Occasionally, I'd have to make a turn and go north or south for a bit. It wasn't too bad, but still not as good as the full on tailwind. 

Crossing the Illinois



As like it was yesterday, I didn't go through many towns, just Wenona and Cornell. I looked at the map and decided I'd better resupply in Wenona as it was the only town with a grocery store. Okay, the grocery store was a Family Dollar (who knew they had food?), so the selection was somewhat limited, but not as limited as the Casey's convenience stores that seem to be in every small town (some days I feel like I just ride from one Casey's to the next one).

Looks like Vegas!



I stopped in Cornell for some lunch. I only had 11.5 more miles to go to Odell, my planned stop for the day. Since I'd been making good time, I looked at the map to see if I could go further. Unfortunately, the next possible camping was another 38 miles from Odell, and I would already have done 55 miles. I decided to still stay in Odell.


As I came into Odell, I came to the intersection with Section 1 of the Route 66 route. They are in the process of building a bike path along old Route 66. 

Next to the bike path



There was camping at the city park. I had a little trouble finding it. I stopped at an American Legion ball field, but that wasn't the city park. As I was trying to look at Google maps, I saw another cyclist heading into Odell. As the cyclist pulled into the park, I noticed it was a woman. We both said, "Oh my God, it's another woman!" Sharon is from Anchorage (she even knows Lael Wilcox's mother), and is doing Northern Tier from Maine. Poor thing, as much as I have had an awesome tailwind, it's been a brutal headwind for her. She was hoping to get to Wanona today, but there was no way with the wind. She was pooped! 


We finally found the city park. There was a birthday party going on, and they said we could help ourselves to the food. I'd eaten in Cornell, so I wasn't particularly hungry, but Sharon had a burger and various salads. 

Sharon's tent and bike



The wind is still whipping pretty good, but there is a shelter. There's also another family here having a picnic and have offered burgers and Brats. I might just eat my own food as I have plenty. 


Speaking of food, I forgot to mention yesterday I checked off an Illinois Subway in Kewanee. 

These rows of soybeans are as straight as the roads!



Sunset in Odell



Total miles: 59.6



Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23--Day 11--A Little Side Trip

After a great night's sleep, I woke up, got dressed, and waited for the rest of the house to wake up. Jennifer was up with the littles, Declan and Delancey not long after me. We had breakfast of oatmeal, then I packed up the rest of my stuff. I wanted to get a photo of all the kids and Jennifer, so she rousted the girls out of bed.

Part of the family--Makenzie, Marcail, Jennifer holding Delancey, Declan, Hope, Myka, and Ellyn



After many goodbyes and hugs (from Hope), I was on the road. About 10 miles, and about 2 miles off route was the historic community of Bishop Hill. 


Back in 1846, a Swede by the name of Eric Janson, and more than 1000 of his followers fled Sweden to seek religious freedom from oppression in America. They purchased property in what was then the western wilderness of Illinois. The first winter they lived in dugouts along the creek. Cholera claimed the lives of many of them. They soon built a church, large dormitories for housing, a bakery, a school, and several other buildings. They made brooms, buggies, and woven rugs for income. They farmed the surrounding land, and shared the wealth of their endeavors. It was a communal colony. 


Eric Janson fell out of favor, and ended up being murdered in the Henry County Courthouse in 1850. From then, the colony was managed by a board of trustees until it was eventually dissolved, and the holdings were divided among the members with women and children also receiving shares of property (unusual in the 1960s).


Bishop Hill became a hub for thousands of Swedish immigrants. As time went on, many of the colony buildings were falling apart. Several groups stepped up to save the buildings. Today the town is a living fully functional town. What makes it unique is that the entire town is a registered national historic landmark. The residents still farm the surrounding land. The crafts and trades are still a source of income for the residents.


I rode around the town visiting a few of the buildings (the bakery, of course!), and took pictures of others. There were a few tourists, but the town was pretty quiet. I spent about an hour wandering around, then headed back to the route. I had a piece of Dutch apple pie and ice cream because, well, it's never too early for pie and ice cream!

The Steeple Building

The store

The school

The Bakery

The Church



Inspired by yesterday's farm road riding, I noticed a road on my map that would take me back to the route, but not the way I came. It was a narrow farm road with very little traffic. I ended up back on the route just where I expected to.


I didn't ride through many towns, just Bradford. There I stopped at the Casey's and got a Gatorade. While in Bradford, I called the police in Henry, my destination or the night, to let them know I would be camping in the city park. I still had over 20 miles to go, and I figured they would be closed by the time I got there (like in Cascade). Turns out the gal told me someone will always answer that phone, so I needn't have worried. 


Most of the ride today was through the ever present corn and soybean fields. But, as I was rolling along, I glanced to my right and saw something different...wheat! I stopped to take a picture because, ride for days and see only corn and soybeans, soybeans and corn (and then more corn). Wheat was new! Okay, I'll admit it's not THAT exciting. I'm sure I'll see more.




I finally reached the outskirts of Henry. A guy rode up behind me. We rode the rest of the way into town. I saw the park and told him this was where I was staying. We chatted for awhile. His name was Dennis, and he was out for a day ride. Eventually he told me the park we were at was not the park I was supposed to be at. He showed me the way to the Waterworks Park. That's where I was supposed to be. There's a pool next door for showers (a rather interesting shower where you have to pull really hard on a chain, and the water comes from way above your head. Kind of tricky to keep the chain pulled and wash, but I managed. 


Waterworks Park is situated along the Illinois River. There have been numerous people driving by on the road along the river. I've seen this one distinctive van drive by at least three times. There's also a couple of guys fishing. I saw one of them catch and release a pretty good size fish. The other guy has a fish on too. He just caught a 23" 3lb catfish!

Illinois River (I'll cross that bridge tomorrow)



Now I think I'll go catch me some lightening bugs!



Total miles today: 66

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22--Day 10--On the 10th Day, I Stayed With 11

Today ended up being one of the reasons I love bike touring so much. It's the people--it's always about the people I meet.

I left the hotel at 7:00. The weather was good, but it was shaping up to be a pretty warm one. I started by getting to ride a bike path through the rest of Muscatine. I rode through a pretty little park called, of all things, Weed Park. It didn't look weedy at all to me!
Weed Park

The bike path took me almost all the way to the bridge. Yep, I was back to the Mississippi for one last crossing, this time into Illinois. 
Mississippi and the bridge to Illinois

Welcome to Illinois

Illinois started out pretty flat, at least flatter than Iowa had started. I did encounter a few rollers, but nothing too difficult. As it was getting rather warm, I did my best to stay hydrated by stopping at convenience stores in the small towns and refilling my water bottle with ice and cold water as well as getting a Gatorade.

As I was nearing the town of Orion (pronounced Oreeon), a guy rode up beside me on an e-bike. We chatted for a bit. His name was Don and he was out for a ride. He asked where I was going today, and I said I was going to Cambridge. Turns out his son and daughter-in-law live in Cambridge. He told me they have 8 kids, but for the summer they have 3 cousins staying with them, bringing the total to 11. Well, I thought that was totally awesome! I asked if he thought maybe I could set up my tent in their backyard.
 He seemed to think that would be no problem.

As we rode into Orion, he said he would show me the backroad way to Cambridge, but first we stopped at his house so I could meet his wife, except she wasn't there, so we continued on. We took farm roads to a point where Don could easily tell me how to get to Cambridge.
Farm road
I followed his directions, and got to Ben and Jennifer's house at 2:30. Jennifer was working in the yard with a number of the kids. Don had already called and told Jennifer to expect me. I asked if I could camp in their backyard. She said that was fine, or I could sleep in their guest bedroom (yes, 11 kids here, plus Ben and Jennifer, and they have a guest room!). Well, the guest room sounded wonderful to me!!!

I met all the kids. The oldest is 14, down to the youngest who is a year. All really wonderful kids. Four of the boys went to a cousin's house for a sleepover leaving just three 
year old Declan as the only boy here with the girls (Mackenzie, Markelle (I'm sure that's not right), Micah, Hope, cousin Ellen, and baby Delancy). Hope is 5, and she is a social sweetheart. Her and I had a great time reading her books and talking about her unicorn dream. She is a delight! 

While one might think a household of 11 kids is chaos, one would be right, but it is organized chaos for sure! There is a definite routine, and the kids know what they need to do, and do it. Jennifer started dinner of tacos, then had to go to her sister's birthday party. Ben was in charge, but the older girls finished the dinner, set the table, and we all enjoyed a delicious meal. Even Don had come by and we got to continue our conversation. 

I've had so much fun here tonight! This really is a wonderful family, and I'm so glad I got to meet them and spend the night here. This is what touring is all about! I just made a whole bunch of new friends!!! I didn't take any photos, but I will tomorrow before I leave. And to think, today's post was just going to be all about the corn fields--miles and miles of corn fields.
Selfie with corn

Total miles for today: 61