Maize, plenty of that today, although the recent flash flooding hasn't helped.
Our tour along the Blue River- I never saw it unless it was the creek we followed, delivered us into Pekin, sometimes known as Old Pekin. We were greeted with a rough-n-tumble kinda rural town. The Sunoco provided snacks and drinks, but also a myriad of, well, rednecks, of all sort. They were pleasant enough, but living in a near-hippie enclave and teaching reasonably middle and upper-middle class sorts separates me from these kind of folk I used to teach in Trimble Co. I made the comment that I understood why there was a New Pekin just up the road. Not nice, but the truth hurts sometimes. I hope escalating globalization and State and Federal education and economic efforts bless these folks with future reward.
Gene's right on the track. I failed to get a good pic of a big pipe coming out of the side of this building, one used to refuel the train with water and/or coal from back in the old days.
Nice bridge on E.Main St. in Old Pekin
Church steeple may or may not be visible in the distance
After Pekin, and a steep set of short climbs to get us to appropriate altitude, we were blessed with amazing expanses high above the knobs. Who knew? It was truly beautiful country and worth the 40m we had ridden to arrive there. Shortly thereafter we happened upon a couple cultural touchstones of Southern Indiana: Stumler's, Huber's and St. John's the Baptist Church. Concerning the latter, with the quantity of Virgin Mary statues we saw in Starlight I would say that the parish is doing a pretty good job getting the word out. The former- and middle?- are both popular family-run orchards and restaurants. Huber is big enough that it has a bit of everything, including wine. The ride through Starlight where these are based was just heaven, with blue skies, cooling tailwinds, sunshine and no traffic to speak of.
Our last leg involved getting down off this plateau and into the valley where Sellersberg resides. This is where the brief plot thickens. We came upon the following descent
Top of Dug Knob
Dub Knob Rd. falls off the plateau, so we fell too. Not smartly, I took the lead. Dave had been descending all day much better than I, but I divebombed the hill, zooming through the first sweeping curves. Approaching the 3rd one, a steep switchback, I realized I was going too fast. I felt the back wheel skid and I just sorta freaked. I understood based on speed that I was going to cut across the switchback, and my good grace would not find a car coming up the hill. Alas. At that point, the SUV ascending looked like it was going to hit me or I was going to hit it in the side. Somehow, whether he sped up or slowed down, I got around him, and I slowed into the gravel on the side. No harm, no foul. No tarmac, no blood, no boo-boos. Just alot of frustration for being irresponsible- STUPID- and loosing control like that. It happens, but I'm still frustrated with myself; I could've negotiated the descent much better and not created such drama. And thanks to that driver. Whether he/she really did anything, he/she didn't hit me, and that's good.
From there we rolled down St. Joe's Rd., different Catholic church, and into Sellersberg, capping off a 61-miler that I'll put right now into my top-5 list of favorite rides. It was just fabulous. Hope everybody hit the road today.