David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
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Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
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Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
08/07  Oh No! Casey's is Leaking!
08/08  Yo dawg I heard you like creeks
08/09  Low bridge, everybody down
08/11  Camping in Suburbia
08/12  Camping on a bunker
08/13  Amish on Bicycles
08/14  Ohayo Ohio!
08/18  Saddle Sores and Boredom
08/19  Houses houses houses
08/20  Neither see nor be seen. Now bike!
08/21  Down and Up in Pennsylvania
08/22  I don't want to scare you
08/23  Yard elk in the mist
08/25  Pine Creek Trail
08/26  Welcome to New York
08/27  Oswego
09/03  Erie Canal
09/04  Road Closed
09/05  Vermont
09/08  Old Stage Trail
09/09  New Hampshire
09/10  Hapless Trails
09/11  Mainely tourists
09/13  Mainely Traffic
09/14  The Hills!
09/16  Arcadia National Park
09/17  Mainely ATVs
09/18  I am farther east than you
09/21  North into Real Maine
09/22  Mainely Trees
09/23  Annoying Noises
09/24  Baxter State Park
09/25  Mainely Bear Hunters
09/27  Mainely Sick
09/29  Mainely Trespassing
09/30  All Done
10/01  (pictures)
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

Yo dawg I heard you like creeks

2011-08-08

tl;dr: Hit the Hennepin Canal Trail. No towns. No people. Good times.

Slept in! It sure is nice not having to be in the barn by 5am every morning. I bet I slept all the way until 5:15.

I met a couple on the Great River Trail. They were from Europe and had left Vancouver four months earlier on a couple of used bicycles they purchased. They had pushed down the West Coast, across to New Mexico and up through the Midwest to here. Those two were the most shapely folks I've seen maybe ever. They looked like those 25 year old actors that play high school students on TV. But their gear was kind of ratty, and I'm ashamed to admit I acted a bit like a snob. That wasn't my intent. I had meant to say stuff like "I'm glad your gear has held up so well," but I'm afraid it sounded more like "I cannot believe your gear is still functional." But they were way too friendly to point out that my people skills suck.

Eventually I left the Great River trail to cut across Moline and get on the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail, which will bring me east a third of the way across Illinois. The Hennepin Canal trail is very nice, in my opinion. It goes for miles and miles without towns or houses or even roads to cross. It's impossible to get off of. Most of it is paved, though there is a covering of cinder gravel. There are many TRAIL CLOSED and WARNING signs, but I ignored them all with no consequence. If you decide to bike this trail, bring wide tires and lots of food and water (unless you don't mind drinking canal water).

There are dozens of bridges over the Hennepin Canal, and each is a work of art. Yet they all have boring names like Bridge No 23. Also, after spending time in Florida, I keep expecting to see alligators as I bike along.

My shiny new saddle sadly sat sorely since sunrise to sundown. I purchased a new saddle for this trip. I didn't get a Brooks. With a Brooks saddle you need to spend a couple hundred miles breaking it in. With other saddles the saddle breaks you in. Maybe after some adjustments and general toughening up the pain will go away.

It's finally cooler, but still very humid.

Apparently, the Hennepin Canal was an engineering marvel and a financial failure. I have counted four instances so far of the canal going over various creeks. Bridges for boats. It's a shame nobody can use them anymore.

Sometime in the afternoon I started wondering why I was out here biking rather than sitting lazily at home in front of my computer. I immediately realized I must need a nap. So I found a shady place along the trail and stretched out. Huh, those were some dark clouds moving in. Let me check the radar on my phone. Nap's over! I rushed three miles to the next town and sat out the storm in a Subway. Mmm, steak and cheese.

For all the many miles I spent on the Hennepin Canal trail today, I saw all of four or five other people biking or running; and those we're short-range folks. (I saw plenty of fishermen, but they don't count.) So I set my tent up right along the trail. Too bad I was so close to the Interstate.

Cordova IL


give me your peanut butter now




fishing on the canal


I put a creek over your creek


rainbow



contact me at le@liverworks.com
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