Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 10: 21 miles to Mom's

Amazing that it's already Week 10 of training for the 11.20.11 Gobbler Grind, but the mileage is really ramping up. Kinda wish last week's LR had been longer. Today's mileage and rolling hills left me quite ragged. But it was super cool to run the route to my parents' place where I grew up! 
From where I start on State Hwy 136, the terrain is more wild and rolling compared to my destination. 

It's hard to see, but there are limestone walls under the bluff along County Road Z2E
(locally referred to as the Humeston). This little nook would be a kid's dream playland! 

The first of several creek crossings at Mile 4.

This Percheron was very patient as I tried to get as close as possible.

After climbing out of a valley, Mile 7 gave me one of my absolute favorite
spots along this stretch of County Hwy Z2E. Just beyond the bend to the right,
the road number changes from Z2E to Y70 and offers a direct route to DeWitt.
I, however, soon turned west on County Road E63.

Approaching the halfway mark at Welton is the busy crossroads of 
County Hwy E63 and US Hwy 61 in northern Clinton County. I continued west up that thar hill
where the rolling continued until turning south on County Hwy Y54 at Mile 14.

Y54's straight shot south to Grand Mound was so nostalgic,
given that I grew up in this area. It was so COOL 
running a road on which I've logged many, many bike miles.

Continuing south, the terrain quickly turns from rolling to pancake-flat with perfectly
square fields. This big, old lonely tree has been around forevah. And I like it!

Speaking of nostalgia, this farm was once home to a dog that LOVED to torment me
on my bike rides. I hated that beast! I saw neither hide nor hair of him today. (Good thing.)

One of my favorite groves of trees. You can't tell from the photo, but when you
bike or drive past, suddenly you see that this grove is made up of perfectly measured 
rows upon rows of trees. I always wonder who to thank for the effort...

Around Mile 17 I really began to fade so I started talking to the
grasshoppers like this little guy here in the forefront.

Opting to go gravel and reduce my mileage along busy US Hwy 30, Miles 18 & 19
were pretty taxing given the loose footing. I chalked it up to trail practice. 
Local farmers are getting busy with the bean harvest. Corn will be coming out soon! childhood Home Sweet Home.

Couldn't resist sharing my dirty, dusty legs!

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