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
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Nomadic 2010
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

Camping in Suburbia

2011-08-11

tl;dr: I hit Starved Rock State Park, and then headed west on the I&M Canal Trail and on past Joliet.

I can't imagine more beautiful biking weather than that which I was presented with yesterday. So I squandered it in a hotel room.

I should try to eat healthy when I'm on the road. And I do try to buy vegetables and stuff from time to time. Oh, Walmart has expired donuts on sale!

I biked through Starved Rock State Park. Apparently there are quite a few scenic overlooks and photo-worthy landforms. Unfortunately all that was available only to those who hike. I'm kind of phobic about just leaving my bicycle alone, so my detour to Starved Rock was basically a waste of time. I was passed by a jogger as I climbed out of the park, so there's that.

I got onto the I&M Canal Trail for the next leg of my cross-Illinois journey. This trail wasn't significantly different than the Hennepin; there were more trees, and the trail was completely packed gravel, but it also plodded on for miles and miles through basically the wilderness. Near towns I would see joggers and cyclists, but sometimes, miles from nowhere, I'd see a jogger, and this conversation would go through my head:

LUKE: It followed us!

BEN: No. It's a short range fighter.

HAN: There aren't any bases around here. Where did it come from?

BEN: A fighter that size couldn't get this deep into space on its own.

LUKE: It must have gotten lost, been part of a convoy or something.

LUKE: Look at him. He's headed for that small moon.

BEN: That's no moon!

I may have pushed myself a little too hard on the I&M Canal Trail, because I suddenly found myself at its end in Joliet. A guy there struck up a conversation and informed me that my next leg was on the Old Plank Road Trail, "which is really nice, because rich people live there, and they like to bike on the trail, so they spend lots of money on it." From what I could gather, this guy saw the area as a series of neighborhoods that were either bad, not too bad, or rich. Seems accurate.

The Old Plank Road Trail was actually paved and quite nice. Though in truth I think I prefer gravel over paved. Gravel trails tend to improve and smooth out over time, while paved trails buckle and sprout potholes. Anyway, other than being paved, the Old Plank Road Trail was also busy. Wow. The rich locals really do like to bike.

Hotel options were almost nonexistent, and camping options only slightly better. I found a patch of mosquito infested woods between two subdivisions. The trees were short, and the foliage was dense, so it was actually a good spot.

I might have drifted off to sleep to the soothing sounds of horns, trains, jets, motorcycles, screaming kids, and the occasional dog bark, and (if I turn my head just right) the crackly and buzzing of the high-voltage power lines a hundred yards away. But I pack ear plugs. Those helped until the bugs woke up.

Starved Rock State Park


deer


Illinois River


Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail




another day at the office




Joliet art scene


some auto show

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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