Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy July 4

No flags here.  No red-white-and-blue.  Not going to try to wax sentimental over any bloodstained idols.  As it happens, though, this morning was easily the best morning we've had all year, so far, for going out for a bike ride.  Temperature when I left, not long after sunrise, was low-to-mid 60s, no rain, very little wind, and not much four-wheeled traffic.  I rode a 34-mile loop in east Allen County.  Come along and enjoy it with me.

About a tenth of a mile down the road from my house is what I still think of as Opliger's pond, although I believe the retired judge owns it now.

Plenty of algae on the pond.  "Algae" sounds better then "scum," doesn't it?

My road is now "chip-and-seal."  Looks like gravel, but behaves better.

By the time I get here, I'm clipped in and thinking about a short but steep hill I have to climb to get out "to the world."

North of the town of Grabill, I'm eastbound on Hurshtown Road where it takes a little jog and crosses Roth Road.  I don't ride on Roth ... too much fast car, and truck, traffic, and no shoulder to speak of.  I go farther east, until I get to Bull Rapids Road.  Poor pavement and one troublesome dog, but little traffic.  Seems healthier.

As quiet as it was this morning, Roth probably would've been okay.  But I crossed it and went my usual way.

Going south on Bull Rapids, then back west on Antwerp Road, we come to the bustling metropolis of Harlan.  Lots of times, I fall into a trap here, called the Harlan Bakery, which is something that, when the wind conditions are right, you can smell at least a mile down the road.  And it doesn't smell bad, either, believe me.  However, I discovered this morning that my route through here has become safer.  The Harlan bakery has moved to a new location, a bit southwest of town on highway 37.  That's either too far away for me to smell, or they may not be making donuts on this Fourth-of-July morning.  In any case, I escaped without snarfing down a donut.  Good for me.  No, let's be honest: rats!

Looking down Highway 37 in the central business district of Harlan.  It seems that most everyone's still sleeping.

Westbound on Antwerp Road, toward Schwartz, there are Amish farms on both sides.  And Amish farms mean plenty of horses.

Looks like a smaller horse is hiding behind one of the larger ones.  We're south (and still east) of Grabill now, but you can see the town's water tower on the skyline, some miles away.

There's that smaller horse!  All I had to do was wait a second.

These horses work for their living, but their working conditions don't seem too hateful, and apparently it isn't starting time yet.  They all seem to be "on break."

A bit farther west, another group of horses are pursuing their equine business farther back from the road, in some pasture that's grown up high enough to halfway hide them behind the golden tops of whatever-it-is.  With the morning sun lighting up that gold, I evaluated a photo stop as being mandatory, pretty much.

These guys are up to their ... well, I'm a city boy, and don't know my horse parts so well.  They're up to their bellies, more or less, in golden stuff that looks good enough to eat.  It appears that they think so, too.

At this point, I was hungry, so I proceeded down Schwartz Road to a commercial development called "Chapel Ridge" at the edge of Fort Wayne, where I purchased and consumed some people rations.  Typical stupid developer's name, that ... very few chapels, and no ridge at all.  Crazy.  I mean, they should have gone all out and called it "The Lakes at Chapel Ridge," since there's also no lakes.  Anyway, after that, I rode on home, committing no further photography.  It was a very pleasant ride, though.  Thanks for coming along!


Mimi said...

Lovely, lovely pictures and an enchanting virtual tour of the place where you live. I have an ocean and beaches, but that pond and those fields and the horses stir something in me. You know I despise the "bloodstained idols" as much as you do, but I think we both have a deep, unshakable bond with the land of our birth. Happy fourth of July, Jim.

Vickie said...

I followed along on a google map. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. And great horses.