The wind was from the south, so the stretches going west were easier. I didn’t get far on County Road W before it started raining. One of my favorite rides starts among the vineyards at the west end of that road, and continues along Shaw Road, 92nd Avenue, and Valley Road. The road surface was better than the last time I had been here, but it wasn’t as much fun riding in the rain. I didn’t go all the way to the end, though, but turned south and went through Little Prairie Ronde and Gard’s Prairie, stopping for a quick break at Volinia. The rain had stopped by then.
I said it’s a favorite ride, but the last time I can remember doing it was in August 2010, when I did a similar ride in one day instead of two. That was a bright and hot day; this one was dreary and rainy. And Volinia had changed since then. Then there was a big country church on the corner, albeit one in poor repair and perhaps no longer being used. Now it was gone. Then the stores on the corner had antiques and fresh vegetables for sale. Some old rusting, antique farm equipment was on display. Now there was no sign of any such activity. I took a photo from where the church had been, and moved on.
On the way south to Cassopolis, there were gaps in the clouds that let a little sunlight show through, so I stopped and took this photo.
Most of the rest of the ride was familiar territory. I turned on my lights when I turned west before reaching the state line. After crossing the St Joseph River, I turned south to follow the road along the river, and after crossing the state line was in unfamiliar territory. Google suggested that I could ride through a residential development that had an entrance at both the east and west ends.
This was a place of nice homes with generous spacing between them and lots of cul-de-sacs. It looked like the sort of neighborhood where tenured Notre Dame professors might live. I had to stop at every little turn to check my Google map to find my way through.
There was one short stretch where the houses were closer to each other and to the street. One garage door was open with music coming out, and a middle-aged man was skateboarding in the street. It seemed a bit incongruous for the neighborhood. Such are the things by which I sometimes remember a ride.
It was completely dark by the time I found my way to the Super 8 near the Interstate. Our room was nice enough, but Mrs Spokesrider had had to ask for a different one after she found bedbugs in the first one. She always checks for them, and this was the first time she found any.