On the hunt - couldn't shoot the turkey! (12 June)

While the Cross Roads riders are doing their thing, I am usually out on the hunt: with my camera. My targets are people, places and animals. Today, while our riders pedalled the 87 miles from Springfield to Champaign, I went hiking at the Clinton Lake State Park. The well marked trail snakes along the lake shore through a jungle like forest. Remarkable is the fact that campsites sometimes lie along the road within sight of the path, but I never met anyone walking. (Unfortunately, I met up with a lot of litter, especially where the camp sites had access to the lake.)

Now about that turkey - no not the bird on the right! At the beginning of my hike I suddenly spotted a wild turkey a few yards down the path. Unfortunately, I had the wrong lense mounted on my camera, so I couldn't "shoot" her and her little chicks.

Walking carefully along the path was important, not just for viewing animals. There were a number of wooden bridges and steps, all as slippery as ice. And there were things falling out of the trees! While navigating the end of a bridge, I suddenly heard a crash and a wumph and two yards to my right a small branch landed on the ground. But then the branch came alive, turned over and scampered up a tree: it was a squirrel! Later, however, I twice heard some even louder crashing and could observe quite large branches falling in the forest.

A definite highlight of the day was the first SAG stop in Chestnut, before I began my hike. Chestnut is namely the geographic center of Illinois. This will be of special interest to our son, Brian, who has made a hobby out of finding the geographic centers of various areas in Switzerland.



Below is a photo of an especially effective team of riders: Pete, Mark, Bruce, today's guest, Dave, Cathy and Emil.


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