Wednesday, July 13, 2016

'Dotted line' trekking.

Walking, stopping to wait for better weather, skipping ahead, and detouring on business...  is what makes this feel like a walk on a dotted line at times. Still I continue to chalk up mileage in spite of myself.  No longer keeping track; at the end it will just be a rough estimate of miles walked.  I know - there is an app for that.  But it involves keeping the phone switched on all the time, and it is more important to save power for the times when charging is not an option.  Last year I netted between 1000 and 1100 miles.  This year it looks like about 700 good miles so far, and many more to go.

Illinois has miles of trail following two different historic canals, the Hennepin and the I&M (Illinois and Michigan).  These were built in the 19th century for commercial barge traffic; I think that both waterways were closed to commercial traffic around the 1950's. Where they are still passable, pleasure boats can use the waterways for touring and fishing. The pathways are in various states of repair; some of it is paved and kept mowed along the edges and in some places the path is dirt (sometimes muddy) and single track, and looking as if it could disappear around the next curve.  Information about access and amenities (where applicable!) is not so easy to come by.  I saw that there are actual camping places intermittently, but too late to factor them into my planning. One keeps hearing that the state of Illinois is broke and much of the trail maintenance bears that out. 

There was a great private campground in Geneseo.  I have also been blessing with more hospitality from randomly encountered folks (road angels!): cyclists who took me and my cart(!) to lunch and then delivered me to a stopping place close to an AT&T office, where I needed to take care of some vital 'communications business'; an overnight invitation from a couple in the next town, who live on 5 tree-full acres in a wonderful Victorian era farm house; and now I am visiting a city police officer and his family, and sitting out a day of occasional downpour. The next three days look walkable, though I may have to revert to a parallel roadway if the trail is to be inundated this evening and overnight.  Which would be too bad as it is ever so nice to have some shade along the canal route.  The heat and humidity can be very enervating! 

Hennepin Canal

Would these be considered an invasive species? 

Beautiful, though...

Campground with all the amenities

Building in Geneseo

1 comment:

  1. Rin, I met your sister Annie last night. She said, "My sister is walking across the US pulling a cart." I said I know your sister!