David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
05/14  twitter.com/d16n
05/14  It's peanut butter jelly time
05/15  Military Ridge
05/16  twitter.com/d16n
05/17  Geologists fed me watermelon
05/18  Big Rocks
05/19  The sneaky hills
05/20  Go and Stop
05/21  Whole lot of bluffs
05/22  twitter.com/d16n
05/22  Smells like the North Woods
05/23  Stop and they'll get you
05/24  twitter.com/d16n
05/25  Solitude and Dragonflies
05/28  Big timber
05/29  Not too proud to push
05/30  Stupid four-wheeler driving losers
05/31  twitter.com/d16n
05/31  There be dragons here
06/02  Duluth
06/03  Cruisin' the coast
06/04  I am so biking through the North Woods in a cold rain!
06/05  International Wolf Center
06/06  Finally heading west
06/09  Home on the Iron Range
06/10  Rain and loons
06/11  West of the Mississippi...I think
06/12  No more forest
06/13  "Thank you for not wearing spandex"
06/13  twitter.com/d16n
06/16  Flat
06/17  Ticks, rain and work
06/18  Wind
06/19  Deer and hawks
06/20  Perfectly centered
06/23  Peace and Turtles
06/24  Chugging along
06/25  twitter.com/d16n
06/25  Push up, roll down, repeat
06/26  Rain Delays
06/27  I must be getting "west"
06/30  twitter.com/d16n
07/02  twitter.com/d16n
07/03  Duct tape, hose clamp and a big iron bar
07/04  The Enchanted Highway
07/06  Something good comes of the rain
07/07  "Do not feed the prairie dogs"
07/08  Biking with bison
07/10  Yellowstone River Valley
07/11  A scarcity of roads
07/15  Tongue River Road
07/16  Reservations
07/17  A short unremarkable day
07/21  "I'm done when I'm done"
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Deer and hawks

2010-06-19

I knew it was time to wake up when the swallows began screaming, "shrill-squeek-shrill-squeek-click-click-click," which translates roughly to, "I know a really annoying song, I know a really annoying song, I know a really annoying song," to which I replied, "Go away bird! Go away!"

So I climbed out of my sleeping bag to find several deer grazing outside the front door.

I saw more than two-dozen deer today. Many of them were laying in the grass beside the road, unconcerned with the passing of cars, but ready to totally freak and bolt at the sight of my bike. One deer ran ahead of me for a good two minutes before turning around and running back. It turns out there was a coyote in the ditch. I saw two coyotes today. I also finally scared up a pheasant, and I upset a large beaver who continually slapped the water with its tail until I went away. Oddly, I have not yet seen a verifiable grouse, quail or partridge this trip.

In general it's hard for me to get pictures of critters because they all bolt as soon as they see my bicycle.

Have I mentioned how big the farms are up here? Fields of unbroken corn or beans stretch to the horizon. Tractors the size of small houses pull implements that could decimate a city block in about ten minutes. At the heart of each farm is a small fortress completely surrounded by wind-absorbing trees with enough small buildings and silos to give the impression of a medieval village.

I haven't eaten as much junk food these past few days for no better reason than I can't find any. Once again I did not find a store today. Apparently there was a grocery in one town I went through, but it wasn't on the main street with every other business. I did manage to find an early lunch at a cafe in Kensal, and the only meal in the evening was a bar serving pizza in Sykeston ("the best pizza in town"). Pizza again. Between those stops I was very hungry, made worse by the knowledge that I had not a scrap of food. Midday, after about my sixth bottle of water, I realized I was running low on salt and would have killed a small animal for a bag of pretzels.

I visited Hawks Nest Ridge, which indeed had at least one very screechy hawk that truly got on my nerves. Though its in the middle of nowhere, a dozen folks on horses arrived about the same time. To get to the top of the ridge you have to ignore several "no trespassing" signs, cross a cattle grate, open a gate and climb a miserably steep rocky road. I arrived at the top just ahead of the horses, which I was pleased to see were sweating worse than me. The riders couldn't believe I had pushed my bike up there. They were flabbergasted when I told them how long I'd been on the road. One offered me a good psychiatrist.

From the top of Hawks Nest Ridge I'm not even sure how far you can see. On normal flat ground it's nothing to see a town six miles away.

Compared to yesterday, the wind was more than agreeable, and it all but stopped in the afternoon, but is going 24 hours without being rained on just too much to expect?

duck pond


swallows over the James River


wetlands


high above North Dakota on Hawks Nest Ridge


surrounded by horses on Hawks Nest Ridge


leaving Hawks Nest Ridge

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2010-06-18 Wind 2010-06-20 Perfectly centered >