We left Hinsdale in a hurry, again because of the mosquitoes, and headed west. Route 2 traffic was stressful all morning so when the chance of a detour came up we jumped at it. It’s hard to believe we voluntarily biked on gravel for 18 miles, but the fact that it was through a wildlife refuge made it worth it. Sweeping prairie and blue-green lakes had our heads bobbing around for several hours trying to take it all in.
Unfortunately, it was back to Rt. 2, and traffic, in the late afternoon. The bright side was that we started encountering many tourers going east. Because it’s starting to get later in the summer, we are seeing a lot of people, starting out from Washington state, early on in their trips. We encountered about 5 people or groups that day, even with our detour, and got to hear some of their stories.
We’ve definitely noticed a pattern that tourers are overwhelmingly men from either the US or the UK (we don’t know why, but British men seem to love cycling across the US), but that day we met two women cycling from Seattle to Boston.
We rolled into Dodson in the early evening, and, with the city (?) park taken up by a man with a lot of beer and a look that told us he wasn’t going to vacate the area anytime soon, decided we should find somewhere else to pick our tent. A local woman runs a B&B out of her house, so we were able to call in her yard for the night. It was only the second night of the trip that we had to post for lodging.
As the sun set and rose, we again had to deal with a torturous number of mosquitoes, but we managed to keep them at bay outside the tent. However, it did make us quite a bit faster at taking down camp and leaving the next morning.