By Ben |

I took my time getting up this morning, knowing that the bike shop probably wouldn't open until 9.  Mark supplied my first taste of pawpaws to supplement breakfast; they're something like a cross between a papaya and a banana.

Mark escorted me to a park along the bluffs overlooking the Illinois River, which he and Sheila consider a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Then he showed me to the bike shop, where I got my front wheel trued at last.  I also bought a new rear tire but decided to postpone getting a new derailleur, because the one they had didn't impress me.  I hope I can make it to St. Louis!

At the farmer's market, I bought some local apples and some peaches that turned out to be from California, to share with  Mark.  I also bought some fresh, local Concord grapes.  So *that's* what artificial grape flavor is supposed to taste like!

As I started out of town towards the state park, I thought it seemed like a modest goal and toyed with the idea of going farther, but as I got closer to the park I started feeling really worn out... like something was wrong with my digestion.  I got to the park around 2:00 and took a nap for a few hours, then cut my hair and took a shower and did laundry and tuned my bike and had dinner.  I'm feeling much better now.

This park is more remote than any I've visited so far: zero traffic noise and lots of forest around.  When the full moon rose above the trees this evening, there was an exuberant chorus of appreciation from the birds and beasts.  It was awesome!

total distance: 15.9 mi

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