Day 10: Kickapoo State Park, IL to Hillsboro, IN

24 Aug

I woke up at dawn this morning, eager to get on the road early, through Danville, and all the way to Crawfordsville if I felt as good as I did Monday. The campground was still asleep and misty as I walked back from the bathrooms, and the 6 or 8 deer who had lingered in the evening were bounding through the campsites, between tents and over picnic tables.

I rode out of the park to Hwy 150, my intended route to Danville and to Hwy 136, my route almost all the way to Indianapolis. But when I reached the intersection, there was no way I was biking on it; cars were flying by at 60 mph, it was a divided highway with no shoulder, under construction, and the cars and I would be heading straight into the morning sun.

The kind folks at the gas station were unfortunately no help – the only other way into Danville, according to them, was I-74. I scrutinized my maps – luckily I had three that included this part of eastern Illinois – and spotted a mysterious road that seemed sometimes to parallel Hwy 150. Time for another map searching phone call! Mom rescued me, mostly, and I only had to ride on Hwy 150 for about a half mile. Without these calls to folks with computers and internet, I honestly don’t know if I would have survived this trip this far. The state of my three maps was honestly ridiculous; none of them agreed with each other OR with what I found on the roads themselves. Come on, geographers, some of us still use paper!

Danville, by the way, was worth skipping, except for the much-needed grocery store stop, the post office, and the great library for a blitz email session. I continued on my way, and discovered that I’d be riding with much more traffic than before, and again into a headwind.

This means it was a tough day. I stopped for lunch in the lovely Covington, beat onwards to a milkshake in Veedersburg, and battled the hills to my campsite at Charlarose Lake and Campground, just east of Hillsboro.

I did make it to Indiana, though, so that’s a significant victory!

Charlarose Campground is the kind of place people set up their trailers year-round and spend the summers or weekends with their camp neighbors. And as last night my critter friends were deer, tonight they’re rabbits – two herds of them bound and nibble their way around the nearby trailers, snatching animal crackers from your hand and scooting away before you can reach over to pet them.

Today’s ride was long – over 42 miles – and it felt like it. Tomorrow is on to Lebanon, a hotel room, and an evening of much-needed laundry!

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