Shades State Park to Turkey Run State Park: What month is this?
Saturday May 8, 2010, 11 miles (17 km) – Total so far: 106 miles (170 km)
When I peek my nose out of my sleeping bag, I notice it is COLD. The cold front was a pretty big one and it has dropped the temps from nearly 70 degrees F yesterday to 42 degrees F this morning. The wind is still gusting over 35 mph, though it is now out of the NW. It is a bleak grey outside and feels more like late winter than early May. I pack up and wonder how I’m going to ride in this wind. Today I’m meeting my parents at another state park just down the road for Mothers Day.
It is so cold and windy that if I were on my own, I would just sit this day out and snuggle down in my bag and starve or finish off the baby carrots. As I leave the park, the same entrance keeper is there, but she’s much friendlier today – like a whole different woman. She asks how I went in the storms – maybe she felt guilty last night for treating me like crap. So I head south, aided by the wind. Not far down the road I need to head west and uphill 1.5 miles on a gravel road with empty fields all around with nothing to slow the wind. May I just say that this section went by very slowly. I repeat, very slowly.
However, I did give the Mennonite woman riding in a little horse-drawn cart something to talk to her family about over lunch. ‘You’ll never guess what I saw today there was this crazy lady in horribly bright underclothes pedalling a bicycle torturously slowly with bags hanging off all over it. I don’t know where she was going but I think they are all going crazy in that society.’ Finally, I turn south onto a paved road and enjoy the wind’s assistance. Then I hit Hwy 234 and have to go west. The crosswind keeps blowing me into the road from the narrow shoulder. I’m having tremendous trouble trying to hold a straight line. It’s also very cold and I’ve had nothing substantial to eat in 20 hours. I’m still out-of-shape and this feels fairly torturous. I only need to do 15 miles, but this could take me 4 hours at this rate. It just doesn’t feel safe to be blown into the road like this with this amount of traffic.
So at just over 10.5 miles – 2/3 of the way there – I pull over where a dirt road veers away from the highway. I text my parents, who will be coming this way soon, telling them that I’ve given up for the day. I try to describe where I am. My mom is so slow with texting that she’s still trying to text me back when my dad spots me on the side of the road and completes a stop that I’m surprised did not set off the airbags!
My wonderful folks had a little balloon Ernie on a stick that they were going to wave out the window for me. They’ve always been so supportive of my dreams! We load my bike and me into the CRV and drive the remaining 5 miles to Turkey Run State Park. We go in the lodge where there is a fire going in the common room. We partake of the free tea and coffee and sit on wooden rockers in front of the fire for awhile until my body temperature rises. We then bundle up and go for a hike.
Wow – is it ever cold and windy today!! This park has always been a special place for my Dad. His high school band camp was always here in the summers, he and my mom visited here on their honeymoon and we shared many hikes here as a family in my childhood.
The original plan was for me to head over to the campground while my parents stayed at the lodge – but it doesn’t take much convincing for me to sleep on the floor in their room. That night we eat the buffet at the lodge and I pig out – making up for my carrot dinner the night before, and enjoying a lot of ‘down home’ Indiana foods I never get in Oz.
Distance: 10.56 by bike; 5 miles by car
Ave Speed: 8.5mph
Max speed: 20.7