At one point today it was 91 degrees with 75% humidity. From the moment I started pedaling I was dripping sweat. I knew it was going to be hot before I set out for Galena, I even knew about the hills along the way but, I thought I'd be okay. I'm here now, still alive, a little sunburnt so I was right!
But damn, it was a tough day. I was on the road for 8 and a half hours. I took a couple long breaks to cool down in the shade and I tried to pedal as little as possible but I was still melting every minute of the ride. I felt like I was full of leaks, every guzzle of water seemed to come right back out of my skin. The hills I rode over were no joke, they reminded me of riding from Massachusetts into New York; I definitely haven't climbed anything like that since. But man, were they beautiful.
I saw some Grant Wood paintings during my recent visit to the Art Institute of Chicago and I felt like I was riding through his beautiful works of art. The roads curved through the green hills and the rows of corn and soy followed. Coming to the top I could see how perfectly rowed out the crops were planted, they almost looked like soldiers waiting for war in the golden sunlight. Despite the beautiful scenery, it was hard to keep moving.
Any patch of shade was an inviting oasis in the middle of the desert. The need for water to quench my thirst was ever-present but, the need to dump some on my head was just as vital. Silly me for buying a dark gray helmet. I might as well put a bag over my head, the thing just heats up like an oven. Enough complaining, I made it.
There's no trip to the local brewery tonight or an excursion to get some ice cream like in Freeport last night with Tim and Dianne but, at least I could stand in the cold shower for as long as I wanted when I finally made it to the Palace Campground. This will not be the last of the hills and the heat so I will have to plan accordingly and enjoy being soaked with sweat all stinkin' day.
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