Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 43 - 7/20/16 Marengo to Freeport, IL

Last night was great, first time in the tent since Indiana and first time stealth camping since New York!  I wasn't expecting to stealth camp but, the campground I had on my radar turned out to be closed for some reason.  What else was I supposed to do besides pitch my tent and make myself at home?  

The solitude and fresh air is a nice change from the citt.  Everything is good in moderation.  I got up early so I could beat the heat and the potential thubderstorms looming overhead.  It's also just really pleasant riding in the morning light, knowing I have the whole day to get where I'm going.  I may have escaped the heat for the most part but, I rode right into the rain.  The plus side to the rain, or at least the time leading up to it, was the clouds that added so much drama to the otherwise redundant scenery.  

To the North, the sky was streaked with pink and purple like it was 7:00pm what it was only 12 in the afternoon.  And straight ahead, nothing but blue-ish gray covering every inch of clear blue sky.  I would've had more photos if I didn't pack my phone away for fear of getting soaked.  

I'm glad I put all the proper rain covers over my bags before it rained because when it finally did with 10 miles left in my ride, I was so tired, I might've just said screw it.  There were a few moments when I was so hungry and tired and cold that I was hoping for a pick up truck to offer me a ride.  Looking back, I'm so glad I didn't even have that opportunity.  I found some trees in someone's yard that looked like a good umbrella.  

I stopped for a minute, gave myself a mental pep talk, put on my poncho, ate a snack and felt good as new!  Thus is no great accomplishment, toughing out 10 miles in the rain but, I was almost ready to throw in the towel if the opportunity came along.  From this point, I went slow, a comfortable pace, and tried not to look at how many miles I had to go on the odometer.  I just had to pedal, and that's all I did.  

Words cannot describe how nice the shower felt once I peeled off my soaking wet clothes.  As a human, I realize I have a great ability to make things seem much worse than they are, we all do.  But, if we just focus on the most important thing and ignore everything else, we can get through anything.


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  2. ha, I just checked the website for the campground again, and right at the top it says that it's only open on the weekends. Sorry I didn't notice that when checking the prices/location! But funny that I had just been talking about closed campgrounds being one of the best possible stealth-camping locations, and look, there you go and find one! (and presumably didn't keep yourself awake worrying about bear attacks). Sucks about the rain and distance, but as the the cliche (and Kelly Clarkson) says, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". And cliches become cliches because they're mostly true! (or at least this one is in regards to the mental and muscle strength built up during a bike tour.)