We woke up camped next to a stone memorial, in the center of Hinsdale. Today was the first tailwind we’d had in close to a week and we had every intention of using it to cover ground.
We made it just shy of 90 miles today, finishing in Harlem.
Along the way, we met a charming retired federal agent from Alabama called Jim. He too was headed West, and has been battling the west winds too; we had a shared moment of sympathetic understanding.
Slightly less charming was the rattlesnake was very nearly rode over a few dozen miles down the road. I saw Jan jerk his bike away from the shoulder about five feet in front of me, and just then I saw the rattler soaking up the sun a few inches from the shoulder. Raphael had passed within two feet of it but didn’t notice it at all. Thanks to the tail wind though, we were racing down the road at 20 miles an hour, and the snake was behind us in a flash. I considered turning around to look at it closer, but my curiosity was quickly displaced by a cold shiver down my spine.
As the day went on, we passed two more dead rattlesnakes – roadkill. I was so attuned to long, snake-like things by the end of the day that I nearly jumped at the sight of an inner tube on the side of the road.
Now – off to bed. We have another tail wind tomorrow and we’re hoping to do a century (100 miles).