Rollin’ On the River

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ on the river
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ on the river
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Calhoun County is north of Saint Louis, located in Illinois; it is a narrow peninsula that is nestled between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Friday night, Anne and drove there. Friends and fellow Team Kaldi’s members, Stew and Nancy, have a cabin and had invited us up for a visit. You can drive to Calhoun County, but it is much faster to take the ferry. We drove across the Missouri and then drove up to the landing of the Golden Eagle Ferry. This ferry hauled us over the Mississippi to Calhoun. 

Stew and Nancy’s cabin is located on the river. It happens to be on a stretch of the river where the Mississippi flows north. They have a lovely cabin with all of the modern facilities. Their part of the river is a pinch point, with park land on the opposite shore, so their river’s view is quite picturesque.

Nancy fixed a Saint Patrick’s Day dinner featuring corn-beef, cabbage and potatoes. It turns out that both Anne and Nancy were at Thursday’s parade. We setup a picnic table and ate at the river’s edge under a combination of firelight and moonlight. I fidgeted with the camera to get a moonrise photo. The clouds and the moon enjoyed playing cat and mouse, but patience eventually won out. 

On Saturday, we talked, kevetched, talked some more and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, all the while waiting for the day to warm-up. At what turned out to be the most optimal time, we got on our bikes and rode out. Heading north through the wildlife preserves that populate the eastern side of the county, we enjoyed a flat, outbound journey, with a tailwind at our backs, a double bonus. We saw quite a few Great Blue Herons. We stopped at the nature center and met John, an avid and venerable birder. I was most impressed with his center’s white board bird tally. I hadn’t even heard of some of the birds on his board.

Our next stop was Brussels and Bliss Pastries. This less than a year old bakery is owned and operated by a teacher couple. Consequently, it is only open on the weekends and of course during the summer. We circled back via the uplands. This helped to cut the headwinds. Anne enjoyed seeing the quilt barns on the return run. After we returned to the cabin, the day’s temperature took a decidedly negative trend. We had picked the optimal time to ride. We got 23 miles. We are deeply thankful to Stew and Nancy for their warm hospitality.

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