TRIP 2011

Update #05 - February 20th
Savanna, Illinois
00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

The official start date for Spring here in the United States is Sunday, March 20th. Four more weeks of Winter and I cannot wait. We had a brief respite from cold weather for about 10 days. The temperature got above freezing (32 F, 0 C) and then it climbed up to 58 F (14 C) before it started it's drop again. Right now, it is 37 F (3 C). I wish that it would stay above freezing but it is not. The national weather service is predicting that the temperature for Saturday, February 26, will be 26 F (-4 C). On Tuesday, March 1st, the temperature is supposed to be 37 F (3 C).

The snow has pretty well melted. Instead of slogging through a path of snow down the hill, I have to slip and slide through mud and wet leaves. The large piles of snow in the downtown area are less than half of their size. There hasn't been any significant thawing of the ice on the Mississippi River. People are worried that a fast thaw might bring on some minor flooding of the low-lying land in the area especially in the downtown area. There isn't any kind of flood wall to protect the downtown area from any possible flooding. Right now, one of the local rivers that flow into the Mississippi River (the Plum River) is creeping over it's banks).

We lucked out today because there was talk about freezing rain and snow. Last night, the area was under a winter storm watch. They were projecting periods of freezing rain and maybe between 1 and 3 inches ( 2 and 3 cm) of snow. The storm stayed pretty well north but if Savanna was 40 miles (64 KM) to the north we would have been right in the storm. They are still calling for a 40 % chance of snow tomorrow.

 Scene around Savanna, IL

 Scene around Savanna, IL

 Scene around Savanna, IL

 Scene around Savanna, IL

 Scene around Savanna, IL

 Scene around Savanna, IL

"Alice" my recumbent was taken to a friend's bike shop in Thomson, Illinois ten miles (16 KM) away Friday. Hopefully, Gary will be able to work on it soon but he has a lot of bikes before her to repair. The three chain rings of the front cluster needs to be replaced and the front and rear disc brakes need to be worked on. I would like to be back on the road before March 27th, which would be the eighteenth anniversary of my ministry.

Since I am quite north, I was thinking about heading west from here but I don't want to get caught in any late Spring blizzards like what happened a couple of years ago. I got stranded in the Gillette, Wyoming area for a couple of days because of white out conditions. Instead, I am thinking about heading south along the Mississippi River. There are still sections of the "Great River Route" that I haven't ridden along. My turn west will possibly be north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After my turn, I will be cycling to the Waco, Texas area.

To get to the west Coast, I usually travel along the I-5 / I-10 corridor through El Centro, Texas ; Los Cruces, New Mexico; Tuscon, Phoenix, and Yuma, Arizona; El Centro and San Diego, California. Because of the drug violence along the Mexican - USA Border, I'll probably be taking a different route somewhere between I-10 and I-40 in New Mexico and Arizona to Phoenix, Arizona and then along I-10 in California to San Bernardino. I will be staying inland away from the Pacific Ocean this year. At San Bernardino, I will be turning northward through Bakersfield and then on to Sacremento. My concern would be to get through the Southwest before late May when it starts to get hot.

On a side note, yesterday (February 19th) was the 18th anniversary of when I started out on this two-wheeled adventure from Portland, Oregon. I will keep everybody abreast through upcoming updates. Usually, I try and add a new update every two weeks along the way so the next one will be around March 06th, 2011.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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