It was 64 degrees F under party cloudy skies 8:15 this morning as I headed Rhododendron to the Kickapoo Rail to Trail path and St. Joseph IL.
But first there was morning yoga practice (!!!) wherein I tried to get my shoulders ready for the un-yogic downward reaching for the handlebars, including slithering into a self-assisted shoulder Savasana, lots of Ardha Parsva Hastasana, and Sirsasana using a chumball. Yes, it costs watching the dawn break from the bike, but the rest of day is just so much better if yoga is first!
Rode east on Main Street (did not see the fox) and made a quick detour to the Champaign County Nursing Home to drop a promised pair of sun-viewing glasses for a friend who lives there. Then proceeded to Weaver Park and stopped to see what was blooming there.
The season had advanced and flowers were mostly on the decline, like these cup plants, accompanied by big bluestem and
stiff goldenrod and near rosinweed foliage.
Saw blackeyed Susans
some remaining compass plant blooms,
and even some late purple coneflowers.
Proceeded along Main Street to University Avenue and the head of the Kickapoo-rail-to-trail towards St. Joseph, Illinois.
And what a pleasant trail it was.
Since the CU Across the Prairie ride there were fewer species in bloom, but still there were plenty of flowers along the way:
Exotic but colorful morning glories,
Jerusalem artichokes (or sawtooth sunflowers–I wasn’t sure which, glorious golden sun-bursts either way.
and sawtooth sunflowers were just coming into bloom.
Also were the beginnings of the goldenrod and more than a few prairie dock sun-flowers
which were complemented by the pink Gaura,
Rode on with minimal photography (I get conflicted between riding on and not interrupting the experience versus stopping to document it) to the town of St Joseph.
Then turned back, and this time photographed the Salt Fork crossing.
Got a shot of the lovely photograph of unionid mussels at the educational marker.
On the way back stopped for (sawtooth, I’m pretty sure) sunflowers,
including a group visited by monarch butterflies (saw at least four in one small area).
Farther along looked across the paralleling highway and saw soybean fields beginning to turn yellow, with Gaura and tall(?) boneset between the highway and the bike trail.
At the Fulls Siding crossing, stopped to photograph this dear bicycle book-exchange box.
Must remember to bring something to exchange next time.
And on toward home!
My second KRT ride was just as wonderful as the first!