Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First ride of the year and images from Illinois

My dad called me up and wanted to do a ride last Sunday.  So he came over around 10am and we decided to head south towards the boarder town of Nogales.  Then we'd head northeast through Patagonia and Sonoita and then back home through the town of Sahuarita.

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The pre-ride photo op.  My dad recently purchased a Joe Rocket Mesh Jacket, I believe it's the Phoenix 5.0.  He seems to like it.  The only complaint I can observe is that the sleeves have a zipper ,near the wrist, that really needs an additional button snap to keep the zipper from riding up during use.
We stopped for gas near Nogales and then headed northeast to Patagonia.  I visited Patagonia on one of my earlier rides and knew the location of a coffee shop with some pretty good food.  The sun was out but the temperatures were only in the mid-sixties so it was still a bit nippy on the bikes.  Hot coffee sounded really really good.
We ordered a couple of hamburgers and lattes with sides of vegetable soup. 
I felt much better after getting some food in me.  My dad and I headed back to town through Sonoita and Sahuarita.  While it was a great trip overall (~167miles), I didn't have a chance to take many photos.  I've decided I need to hire my own personal photographer to sit on the back of the bike and snap pics as I go down the road.


Since I didn't take a lot of photos of the ride I thought I'd include some pictures I took in the summer of 2010.  I wanted to share them to cheer up people who are dealing with the winter doldrums.  I often find myself looking at these pictures as I really like the lush farm land of the midwest.  It sounds funny, but living in the Sonoran desert I often get tired of the brown landscape and wish I lived somewhere where it was vibrant green.  These were taken in and around the town of Newman, Ill.  It's a small farming community on the eastern side of the state.  According to Wikipedia Newman had a population of  around 865 people at the time I was there.  Unfortunately the reason for the visit was to attend the funeral of my grandmother.  I imagine she would have liked looking at these photos so I hope you enjoy them as well.

Some of my family stayed at a bed and breakfast outside of town.  I felt like this was the place to go if you wanted to lose yourself and write a novel away from the interruptions of cell phones and internet.  According to their facebook page it appears that the owners sold this property in March of last year.  I don't know if it's still being used as a bed and breakfast.
The road out in front of the house.  Talk about a country lane.
There was a pasture with horses nearby.  I remember the horses being pestered to death with flies.  Their tails were constantly swishing back and forth trying to beat away the onslaught of insects.
My nephew tried to call them over with no luck.
Corn seems to cover every square inch of land in this part of the country.  I had to take the opportunity to replay the scene in "Field of Dreams" of coming out of the corn.  Things to note: 1) I made sure no one was coming down the road.  Farmers take their corn very seriously around here and I didn't want to get arrested, or worse, beat up. 2) Once I got into the corn I thought I saw bugs and started to panic.  Luckily I drew upon my inner man and toughed it out. That, and I realized it wasn't bugs afterall so I could stop my urge to run out of the corn slapping at my hair and screaming like a 12 year old girl.  3) I'd like to point out that I'm about 6' tall and the corn was much taller then I was...amazing. 4) Who would have known that corn leaves are like razor blades and will cut you without a second thought.
No corn was harmed in the taking of these pictures.

My Aunt lives in Newman, and I captured my dad and nephew lighting off some firecrackers on her property later that day.  You'll notice the puff of smoke to the right.  When I was a kid we'd visit Illinois during summer vacation and it was always a treat to get our hands on firecrackers.  Firecrackers used to be illegal in Arizona until recently. 
I borrowed my cousins bicycle and decided to ride around town and snap some photos. 
An old church that seemed to be abandoned.
The Red and White stores used to be small food stores that have been taken over by larger supermarket chains.
The town's water tower.
Neat looking grain silos.
Outside of town I found a road surrounded by corn.  It was very surreal.  I just stood there.  No traffic, no people, just corn.
and looking back towards town.
Well that's all I have.  Hope it felt like it was July for a second and you could forget about any snow, rain or ice you may be experiencing in your neck of the woods.  Until next time!

P.S. Hi to Rita, Ryan and Sam!


  1. Thank you for teasing us with the sunshine pictures. We need them this time of year.

    It looks like you had a great day riding with your dad. It is nice to get out for a two-wheeled break. I am hoping the weather will cooperate for us this weekend.

    In regards to the zipper on the sleeves of your dad's jacket, I have zippers on the sleeves/cuffs of my Scorpion Mesh Nip/Tuck. It does have a snap flap that goes over the end but the left one still doesn't stay zipped all the way.

  2. Glad you liked the photos! As to the zipper problem I think we need to come up with a solution. My first thought is that the portion of the zipper that you hold onto should have a snap at the end of it. That way once you zip it up it would snap to the end of the sleeve, preventing it from coming undone. Woot! I'm sure the patent checks should start arriving any day now;)