Today was much like yesterday; flat, windy and lots of corn and soybeans. Rain was in the forecast and most of the day was overcast. Even though it was cool, the air was very muggy. Fortunately, we missed the rain.
As we peddled East we crossed three interstates, I-39, I-55 and I-57. It made us feel like we are making progress. We passed through all the little towns that you see on the interstate signs; Wenona, Cornell, Odell, and Ashkum.
Tonight we are staying in Watseka, Illinois. The name Watseka is derived from the Potawatomi name “Watch-e-kee”, “Daughter of the Evening Star”, the wife of an early eastern Illinois settler. Watseka is a county seat and has the only courthouse in the United States that built entirely with private funds.
🌽 Corn Facts
This may be useful if you play Jeopardy (here’s looking at you, Tom and Kelly).
- Corn is a member of the grass family.
- Corn is grown on every continent except Antartica.
- The ear of corn is the flower.
- There are always an even number of rows of corn on each ear.
- The United States produces about 35% of the world’s corn.
- The world’s production of corn exceeds that of rice and wheat.
- Iowa typically harvests the most corn. Illinois is a close second.
- Most corn is not eaten by humans but used for animal feed, sweeteners and oils.
Corn has brace roots to get more water and nutrients to the stalk.
We saw several farmers using disks to chop up the crop residue. There were camping trailers parked by storage bins so that the grain dryers can be managed during the night.
This would be the perfect mini-van for the harried mom who isn’t certain which direction to go.
- Henry to Watseka, Illinois.
- Distance: 112.8 miles (182 km)
- Climbing: 1935 feet (590 m)
- Temperature: 68 – 73°F (20 – 23°C)
In the old days (40 years ago) bike shorts were made of black wool with a piece of leather sewn into the crotch to prevent chafing. A “chamois” is a European mountain-goat-like animal and that is what was used. As chamois numbers began to dwindle sheepskin was used followed by deer skin. “Chamois cream” was applied to the leather to soften it and prevent damage to our bums.
In the late 1970’s Lycra made wool obsolete and in the 1980’s the “chamois” was made from a microfiber material and foam padding. Today’s chamois creams help eliminate friction and discomfort on the skin, rather than soften the hard leather.
Here is one example of chamois cream that is in an applicator like a stick of anti-perspirant. It is made by Chamois Butt’r.
Other ointments that can be found in our bags include Chamois Butt’r that comes packaged like ketchup, a 1/4 pound tin of Bag Balm, and antiseptic creams. Bag Balm was originally used on cows udders and is made in Vermont. Dad always had a tin of Bag Balm in the bathroom.
What happens if there is still chafing? The antiseptic creams above or Desitin. Desitin works miracles.