Monday, August 31, 2009

Day One Hundred Eighty-One, 090828 - Iron River, WI

Day One Hundred Eighty-one, Date Friday, August 28, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:49
Distance for the Day: 57.75 miles From Hurley To Iron River, WI
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8832.0 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1336’/1050’, Highest: 1342’ Accumulated: 1224’
Speeds: Avg: 9.9 mph, Max: 31.6 mph
Weather: 56° foggy w/overcast becoming rainy before noon, but stopping by mid afternoon, remaining overcast with threat of rain still
Expenditures: $45

I woke up at 5:15am and got up at 5:35am. It was overcast, this morning, and still fairly dark out. Strangely, there were no mosquitoes around, even though it wasn’t cold, and there was vegetation around, which they seem to like. Maybe these guys sprayed. Around the front of this construction business building I was behind, I could hear cars starting to drive up, and people talking. Oops! I broke down quietly, figuring my chances were good that no one would come back here for anything, and if I was really lucky, when I pulled out, no one would be outside to observe my departure. And that’s exactly what happened – I rolled out from behind the building at 6:20am, and down the hill to the highway, without seeing or being seen by anybody. By luck, I timed it just right – how nice! Today was a rain day (ugh!). It started out overcast, but dry, and then as I headed west, I could see the bands of dark clouds ahead and hoped they would break up and dissipate. Hah! It was also an easy, long downhill most of the morning, dropping from an altitude of about 1200’ ASL to less than 600’ ASL, resulting in quite a bit of ground covered in a relatively short time. I stopped at a mini mart for a breakfast of carrot cakes and choco milk ($4) between 9am and 10am, reading my new book. The rain was light and intermittent, at first, and I put on and took off my rain gear twice, before it really started to come down when I hit the town of Ashland, WI at around 11am. I hid under an out-of-business gas station pump island roof for a while, waiting for it to lighten up some, then continued on into Ashland’s business sector. I looked for and found a Subway store at noon, and stopped there to charge up my notebook and get today and tomorrow’s lunch + a snack ($12); spent 4.5 hours there, blogging, and waiting for the rain to stop, which it did, but it stayed overcast, with chance of rain still possible (yech!) I left to find the local bicycle shop in Ashland, Bay City Cycles (which Street Atlas 2009 found for me), to see if they had lightweight gloves to replace the ones I’d lost – they didn’t have those, but they *did* have the small, reflective triangles I’d been looking for since the Blue Ridge Parkway! He had three in stock, and I bought all three ($39 for 3), and planned to mount them on my panniers the first chance I got. Not loving the prospects for a dry campsite for the evening, I continued on out of Ashland at 3:52pm to try and get as much extra mileage I could for the day before nightfall. Along the way, I found a road towards a national park campground – they’re usually pay-for, but I’ve had luck finding stealth campsites on the road to campgrounds, before, so I took that road, and indeed, I found an offshoot road that of broken pavement that looked promising. It was still a bit early, but I wanted to find a decent campsite, and didn’t want to still be looking while on the somewhat narrow shoulder of Hwy 2 with big rigs roaring past at dusk – “git while the gittin’s good,” as they say. (N46 32.715’ W91 16.770’) It was about 6pm when I found the site, and I was set up and in bed by 6:45pm. The sky was misting, the trees were dripping, and I could faintly hear traffic off in distance. I hopped in, ate trailmix, drank Gatorade, and read my book until 9pm, but didn’t get to sleep until about 10pm because the sound of water dripping on my tent was too loud to ignore. A truck passed by twice – it paused to check me out, and kept on going without comment. I finally put in the earplugs for the dripping noise, and that was that. Zzzzzzzz.

2 comments:

mohrbike said...

8800 miles! wow! The pains you're experiencing sound familiar. You might try adjusting your seat position foreword or back to dial it in.

We have moved into our new house 2 weeks ago and just got relatively unpacked. I got a wood stove for the unheated sunroom.

I'm enjoying your blog.

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi Steve: Yeah! It's over 9000 miles, now!! Great that you'all have moved into your new house - Karen must be thrilled. I can imagine those vegetables and herbs growing up in the back, already. I don't think it's so much the seat position - we adjusted it pretty good when I first got it. It's just 9000 miles worth of daily repetitive motion for six months that is the problem. I just hope I can make it across the Continental Divide, and down the Pacific Coast. 8^# ;~Don