Sunday 26 July 2015. West on Curtis Road till It Turns to Gravel

This morning at 5:15, as I was preparing for this today’s ride, noticed it was still quite dark. Shortly thereafter noticed light coming in and through the east windows, and it was faintly pink. Was sure I missed a gorgeous pre-dawn show. 

But did make it out on Rhododendron in time for  the official sunrise time of 5:45. The sky was fairly cloudy and golden toward the eastern horizon but no longer pink. It was 73 degrees F and quite humid. 

Today’s destination was Curtis Road toward White Heath, any amount beyond Rising Road, the limit of my last westward Curtis Road foray. 

Stopped at “my” apple tree and got a shot of the small apples and a bare branch. 

Wondered what exactly causes the apples to be large one year and small the next. Rainfall, perhaps. 

Rode to Windsor Road and turned west, then looked back east for a view of the sunrise.  

Not bad, as they go. 

Rode on Windsor, through the lovely expanse of experimental farm fields to the City of Champaign Prairie Restoration. Was just thinking of how much nicer it would be if it were more managed when there appeared this lovely grove of rose mallows with yellow coneflowers and rattlesnake master in front of them. 
The seed heads if the lead plants still were nice also.  

The place has its charms. 

Rode west on Windsor to Prospect, then south, and west again on Curtis. Thought as I rode about the line between peaceful solitude and loneliness.  So far, Velo du Jour is all about the former, but I know that edge is there. 

At about the 6-mile mark, my hips and knees gave their customary complaint, and as usual it soon subsided and felt like I could go a long way. 


Passed Rising Road (reminded me of the Irish blessing , “May the road rise up to meet you…”) crossed a good-sized stream (Kaskaskia Ditch, I believe) in which a great blue heron waded.     

Was surprised to see a double-pointed arrow sign at county road 600E, but it turned out to be but a slight jog. 

The real problem was that the road was covered with rather fine gravel.


So turned back.  Eight miles out was ok. 

On the way back went north on Rising Road to Windsor and then to First Street and east on scenic St. Mary’s Road. The sports complexes keep encroaching, but there still is at least one round barn left,

and did also see a couple of fenced horses close to the road. And best of all there was the speedy hill near Lincoln Avenue (not photographed but enjoyed)! 


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