Monday, August 31, 2009

Day One Hundred Eighty, 090827 - Hurley, WI

Day One Hundred Eighty, Date Thursday, August 27, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:44
Distance for the Day: 86.01 miles From Covington To Hurley, WI
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8774.3 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1462’/1336’, Highest: 1467’ Accumulated: 1863’
Speeds: Avg: 9.8 mph, Max: 28.8 mph
Weather: 48° partly cloudy, warming to the low 70s
Expenditures: $21

I woke up at 6am and got up at 6:15am, broke down and was ready to roll by 6:53am. The sky was partly cloudy with band of high stratus to the SE, and I saw bright beautiful Venus shining in the light, pre-dawn blue. The crows were cawing, and I also heard a deer hasping its weird call – like someone with tonsillitis trying to shout, “hey!” I ate a quickie breakfast of grapefruit juice and trailmix, and then took off at just about 7am. Oops, unfortunately, the praise I laid on the State of Michigan’s roads just got a black eye: a 20 or 30 mile section of the road I was on, today, which had an otherwise decent shoulder, was *ruined* by a vibration strip. This forced me to put two tires into the main roadway, and I then had to keep a constant watch on traffic coming from behind, to dodge into the gravel off the edge of the shoulder when circumstances warranted. What a shame – they’d done so well for so long.

Stopped at Bruce Crossing to buy drinks and bananas ($5), and found a shady spot off the road to eat lunch (Subway sandwich, soda and trailmix). The sky cleared up, and the sun was warm, though the air was still very temperate. I continued on at 12:36pm towards Hurley, and the Michigan/Wisconsin border. A few notes: little bugs sometimes fly into my glasses, and are very annoying as they crawl around the inside of the lenses and on my eyelids. I have to take off my glasses and blow or poke em out with my finger. Also, every day, pains turn on in my knees or legs, but I can reduce them or even make them go away if I change the way I pedal. I can reduce the amount of ‘push’ pressure, and increase the amount of ‘pull’; or, I can point my toes, or press on the left or right side of my foot, or use the “heel-toe” stroke (aka, the “girly wave”), or the “come hither” pelvic tilt (where I twist my hip from side to side to get a little extra extension for each push – I’ve never seen it from a bystander’s point of view, but I imagine it must look almost ridiculously sexy). There are also slight variations of these actions which can be done to reduce the pain, but sometimes, nothing works. So, I have to either just grin and bear it, if it’s not too bad, or stop and rest a while if I can’t takes it no more – resting always helps a lot.

The terrain for hours and hours has been mostly flat with forest, or grassy hills, farms – very pleasant! I hope it stays this way all the way to the NW Angle (hah!) I crossed into Central Time (progress!), so what was 4pm is now 3pm. As I continued west on Hwy 28 in Wisconsin, it seemed to me that the frequency that cars coming from fore and aft converge with me is amazing – it seems to practically be a choreographed conspiracy. I can go for minutes at a time without any traffic at all, and then, two cars will show up on both horizons, front and back, and then all three of us pass each other at the same time. This, or variations of it, happens quite a bit, and seems to me that it happens more often than mere chance should allow. Stop it!
I stopped at mini mart at 2:30pm for ice cream and drink ($4); my right foot’s front tendon got sore, so I read my book for about a half hour to let it rest, and got back on the road at 3:10pm. That seemed to do the trick – by favoring my right foot a bit, the pain never came back – no need for ice or drugs; another one of those pains that came and went. I find that it helps to set the gearing so that it’s almost too easy to pedal, but not quite, to keep stress-induced pains from happening. Unfortunately, at this point in the trip, my knees appear to be more sensitive to stress than they were earlier. This is a bit of a concern, as I still have the Rockies to cross. I stopped in the town of Wakefield at 4:22pm for food and drinks ($6), and continued on at 4:40pm, and had a burger and fries dinner at Burger King ($6), while charging up my notebook. I continued on and switched from SR 28 to Hwy 2 on my way towards Hurley, where I passed from MI to WI at 7pm. The sun was quite low by the time I finished, so I rode a short way out of town before finding finding a stealth camp at 7:15pm on a side road off of Hwy 2 behind a large construction business building. I was set up and in bed by about 8:15pm. Someone did drive up, but left again without noticing me;; N46 28.258’ W90 11.967’ read book until too dark to read, forgot my earplugs, so had to get up to get them, got to sleep around 11pm (10pm Eastern time, which I must still be used to).


Denni Medlock said...


Been following you all along. What a great adventure! (and hopefully - a book!)

Wish we lived closer to the coast so we could see you when you come down Hwy 1 in CA on the downleg. (We're over by Mt. Lassen).

Keep it up!

Denni adn Kevin Medlocknd

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi Denni and Kevin: I am so happy that you have been following my exploits! Thanks for saying, 'hi.' Hope you are doing well and having your own fun and interesting adventures of your own! ;~Don

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