Describing Nondescript Indiana
This is the first state in 8 states that has not changed its landscape when the state border changed. In fact, 125 miles into the state and I am having a hard time distinguishing it. It is one of the most unremarkable states, and I’m not sure if that’s because I just cycled through 7 other incredibly remarkable states or if it’s because it’s just not that distinguishable from Illinois.
Not one to shrink from a challenge, I did make two observations of Indiana-significance: there are more churches than gas stations, and corn grows as if it’s aiming for the Guinness Book of World Records. (Here’s a picture of corn towering over 6-foot Jeff.)
My husband Rob rode with me from Fri. July 1 through Sat. July 9 for a total of 433 miles. My good friend Jeff rode with me this past Fri, Sat, and Sun for a total of 206 miles. Neither of them had ever cycled that many miles or that many days in a row. Both of them trained for the ride, took time off of work, and joined me. Over the course of the past year, many people said they wanted to ride with me, but Rob and Jeff actually made it happen. Kudos to them for their intentionality, commitment, perseverance, and moxie!
Ellen drove out to meet us on Sat afternoon with her car stocked with cold water and goodies for a post-ride BBQ. On Sunday she followed the Moxie-mobile and supplied us with ice-cold water and cheers every 10 miles. Ellen is a dream-catching partner and a great friend!
This Weekend’s Route
Happy to be out of the suburbs, we rode 67 miles on country roads from Crete IL to Bass Lake IN on Sat and 57 miles to Pierceton IN on Sun. Each day, the heat and humidity beat us up, with temperatures hovering around 100. We were sweating faster than we could consume water. Today, my new bike was so exhausted in the heat it popped a spoke! (Justin is getting it fixed in Fort Wayne tomorrow, and I have my trusty Trek to keep riding.)
Mike the Ranger at Jellystone
Mike the Ranger escorted us to our spot at the Jellystone RV Park, a 1,200-slot RV park. This is his 9th summer, and what he loves is the people who visit the park and the people he works with. He says that working here feels like he’s part of a family, and as a result, everyone is committed to creating that same atmosphere among their guests.
We met Kay in the RV park. She has been with a bank in Laotto IN for over 33 years. She was in IT Operations for many years before requesting to move to a teller position because she missed the opportunity to help people. When I asked her about her boss and his influence, she emphasized that his belief in cross-training is the key to her success and the bank’s success. Everyone at the bank knows how to do everyone else’s job, which fosters an appreciation for what other people do. It also allows more flexibility for people who need to take a day off. Finally, Kay (like Mike the Ranger) loves that there is a family-like atmosphere at the bank and credits her boss’ approach to managing.
- Church crossing signs (in Colorado, I only had to watch for deer crossing the road…)
- The nasty black lab that chased Rob down the street until I yelled at him and he cowered and ran back home (I’m done being dogged!)
- People smoking cigarettes at the gas stations (hello?!)
- The cigarette-smoking man who shared that he too is into cardiovascular activities like biking (uh, yeah…)
- The smoking and non-smoking rooms at the restaurant (didn’t know anyone was still doing this…)
- Baptist church sign: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (uh, yeah…enough said…)
Days 56/57 Stats
Day 56 miles: 67.39 miles
Total miles: 3,427.05 miles
Total interviews: 93
Road kill count: 1,302 (added 39 on Saturday and 52 on Sunday, including a weasel – new to the list)
Destination for Day 58: State #9 – Ohio! (Paulding, to be exact)