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Journey to the East: 17 July 2012

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

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on Salamonie River Dam

The nature of the Mind when understood,
No human speech can compass or disclose.
Enlightenment is naught to be attained,
And he that gains it does not say he knows.

-Bodhidharma

Don’t pass me by
This was one of these days that had a bit of about everything. Right as I rode away from Lake Fletcher my rear shifter cable broke. I’d been expecting this as it was badly frayed at the shifter lever but I have say this was particularly good timing. This is why you carry a spare cable my friends. I quickly replaced this and set back off. Things began just as they had the day before: hot, humid riding through farmland. But there was now more hills; mostly short little rollers but sometimes with a short, sharp grade. The trees increased a bit and there was a wider variety of crops being grown than soy and corn. With the time zone change I’d left camp late and it was already pretty hot. So it was with relief that I was able to ride on the Nickel Plate Trail, a new-ish (not on the official route guide, but listed in the addenda) rail trail through a corridor of trees. I was only on it for about 3.5 miles but it was a nice break. And when I was done I’d reached Denver where I took a break for lunch.

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Stacks of clouds

After lunch it was stiflingly hot and the route mostly dead east on flat farmland. But big fluffy clouds began to appear and occasionally provide relief from the intense sun. The clouds to the south were black and menacing and another thunderstorm seemed likely. It hadn’t broke when I reached the two-bit town of Lagro and crossed the Wabash River. But the wind picked up and the sun was well blocked now by an almost completely overcast sky. After the river was the longest steepest climb since I was riding along the Missisippi in Wisconsin and then the route turned into the Salamonie River State Forest. A nice looking state park, this would have been a great place to stay, if it wasn’t only mid-day. More climbing through the park and then I descended to the dam and crossed the Salamomie Lake.

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Detritus from the storm

Thunder was now audible in the distance, but I was riding away from the storm and was never englifed by it. I felt a few drops of rain now and again and most vitally the wind brought much cooler air. So it wasn’t a bad final leg though the farms and then woods to the Kil-So-Quah State Campground. Another nice campground right on the J. Edward Roush Lake and clearly a recreation destination. The wind began to blow really hard as I set up and I could see lightning across the lake, but the storm never crossed it. It died down fairly shortly and then it was a pleasant evening (if back to being too hot).

As if from no-where
cotton ball like clouds
form in the hazy blue sky

Thunderstorm rumbles in the distance –
I only felt a few drops!

Mounds of clouds
stacked upon clouds –
flap of the butterfly wings