74.19 Miles / 2414.13 Total Miles
1834 Ft. Elevation Gain / 86,018 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
We were so fortunate to have a change in lodging plans, yesterday, that put us indoors for last night’s storm. The thunderstorm and high winds lasted most of the night, while we were safely tucked away between the covers, in the Four Seasons motel. As we rode out, this morning, the roads were littered with tree branches, and there were fallen trees along our entire route, or evidence of fallen trees that had been removed by highway crews. Our tents would have kept us dry, no matter what, but if a tree had fallen on us, or if lightening had struck a tree near us, we would have been toast. We weren’t going to have access to food or hydration for 51.5 miles, so we left our motel room, fully stocked for the day.
Crandon was a pretty spiffy little town, and as we rode out of town, it moved up a few more notches, in my mind. Part of the town backs up to this really nice lake, and the houses that back to it are not mansions. They are just humble homes that normal people live in. And the city has a nice little park with a public beach, so everyone can enjoy the lake.
We had no idea we were going to pass through Nashville. It wasn’t even on our map.
This is the Red River, outside of Mattoon, but we also crossed over the Wolf, Lily and Embarrass Rivers. The Embarrass and Wolf Rivers had tubing and kayaking operations, and it would have been nice to have had a few extra hours to stop and go on a float. I thought to myself that when I get home from this trip, I need to get out to the Salt River Recreation area ASAP and float down the Salt River, before they shut down for the winter. The water is much clearer than this water, and there are rapids. Send me an email or text message, if you would like to join me.
We’ve been passing Christmas tree farms, over the past few days, and I keep forgetting to take a picture. So here it is.
Mattoon was our lunch stop, but the only available food was in the Deli of the little grocery store. While we were patiently waiting to order, a heavy set women walked up and put her order in ahead of us. We held our tongues and didn’t let it get to us. When our order was ready, the deli gal brought it to us, as if we were in a restaurant. Very nice touch. Lunch was delicious!
I noticed that the town had a library, so I decided to stop in and work on my blog for an hour or so, while Ed move on to the campground. When I got to the library, I discovered that it is only open 2 hours a week, and this didn’t happen to be those 2 hours. I needed to use the restroom, so crossed the street to ask the people at the city hall building if I could use their restroom. The doors were all on electronic keypads, so I couldn’t even go inside to ask, but someone heard me trying to open the door and came out to see if I needed help. And that someone was the heavy set woman from the grocery store deli. Turned out that she was really nice. She let me in to use the restroom and told me that even though the library was closed, I could sit out front and use their wifi.
The front of the library building had full sun, there was no place to sit, and it was really hot outside. So I sat on the asphalt in the only available shade–the shadow from the bed of a pickup truck. Apparently the gals from the city hall building looked out to check on me, because the heavy set gal came over and invited me over to sit indoors and use their wifi. I cranked out a post and hit the road. There were still 20 miles of riding left to get to the campground.
Mattoon gave me my mural fix for the day. They didn’t have buildings to put a mural on, so they took advantage of a long retaining wall. Very resourceful.
For only $2500, you could own the antique bucket of bolts truck on the left.
I finally made it to Tilleda, where we had decided to camp. The Pine Grove Campground & RV Park was a high end place with a high end price, with 2 beaches along a lake, a pool, goofy golf course, petting zoo, playground, fountain, store, golf cart rentals that looked really fun, showers, wifi, and a nice patio/deck for us to sit on. Oh, and lots of mosquitos. We burned through a bunch of my mosquito repellent, and they were still biting us.
One of my favourite features of the campground was the goats, Stan and Ollie. Ollie was the man of my dreams–attentive, patient, full of energy, easy to please, likes to pose, eats healthy, is fit, and will fight for what he wants. He and Stan entertained us, by head butting each other, locking their horns and chasing each other around. Very manly–my kind of guys. Forget all those boring human men. Maybe those Middle Eastern men truly do know the secret to happiness.