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Thread: Stagecoach Trail, Northwestern IL

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    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Stagecoach Trail, Northwestern IL

    I mentioned earlier that I was planning to ride Stagecoach Trail "roads" (there are several) between Lena and Galena IL this weekend. I hooked up with Cole, a friend from when I hung out on the Aviation Safety Special Interest Group (AvSIG) on CompuServe eons ago, and we headed west this morning.

    I had a nice plan. It went wrong with a wrong non-turn in Rockton, IL. But, this is how "adventures" start, right?

    By not turning on to west-bound Illinois 75 because the intersection wasn't marked as crossing a state highway, we continued west on (eventually) Rockton Road as it meandered (mostly) parallel to 75, heading west. Except that it got progressively less like a county highway after the little hamlet of Shireland, becoming "W Winslow Road", narrowing to old-school 8 foot lanes.

    Did I say 8 foot lanes? Winslow Road made a few 20-mph turns, ending up southbound with unmarked lanes, maybe 14 feet wide, wedged between trees and other obstacles. Remember to keep to the right going over those hills.



    Which was fine, this is a going to see the land, after all. And, of course, we'll intersect IL75 Real Soon Now, right, to get back on track for Lena?

    Um, no...

    Now we're headed south, and I commit to going straight at an intersection... Did I mention the right turn was where the 14ish foot wide pavement went, and we are now on a single-track road?



    Time to consult a map... Turns out that we're on the "fastest way" to IL75, just another 1.5 miles on our single lane road....

    We arrive at Lena 2 hours into the ride, and stop for gas. Except this is a farm coop, and their "premium" is E25, and both Cole and I "need" premium "not more than 10% ethanol" gas. He elects to put in 3 gallons of 87, and I put 1 gallon of the E25 in. Then we head out to find some lunch...

    Right on the path was the Lena Drive-Inn, complete with "car hops". Good food, good service, good prices, so... should you elect to take this path, it's a good place to stop.
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

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    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Now starts the Stagecoach Trail. It's fairly well marked. The names of the roads are usually either "Galena Rd" or "Stagecoach Trail Rd", sometimes "Railroad St" (it parallels the tracks to some degree all the way to Galena).

    Want windmills? There are windmills:



    Incidentally, don't complain about the distortion... I set up cameras to record, rather than stopping to take pictures. Some people spend so much time setting up pictures that they forget to enjoy the trip...

    Stagecoach Trail doesn't really get curvy until you get close to Apple River. It doesn't get serious about them (and the up/down bits) until the last 10 miles into Galena, after Scales Mound. These are mere wiggles for some of you, but they're better than most of what I get to ride.

    Have to wait for me to review the helmet cam video to get the scenery - maybe in a day or two.
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

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    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    The thing about reviewing helmet cam video, even when you're the one that took it, is that those occasional glances at "other things" can be disorienting. When you deliberately are looking at "other things" to substitute for stopping and getting out the camera, it adds an additional element. It's best done in small chunks. Just remember to



    Things seen while exploring... Sometimes you get tired of replacing the metal signs that tell people where they are, and chose something a bit more permanent.



    Proof that I did convince someone else to come along on this "lost weekend"... Taken in the town of Warren, where the trail takes a few turns to make the connection.



    Oh, a twisty bit....



    Seems most people prefer going the other way.



    One of the objectives of the trip, finally getting to Apple Canyon Airport, even if not by air. Not exactly busy - the only thing flying around the airport was a hawk, and it wasn't a Cessna.


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    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    For some reason, the curves disappeared....



    Oh, there they are. This is where the up-and-down starts going left-and-right at the same time.



    One of the few signs like this in Illinois that isn't lying:



    After a while, we reached Galena. Lots of scenery on the way, but I was not spending as much time looking at it.



    Really, at this point, EVERYTHING is uphill. Only the lower third of this side street is visible in the camera. Some of the neighborhoods have switch-backs leading up to them.



    This section, from Lena to Galena, took about an hour. Only about 10 minutes were what some consider "classic motorcycle road", but all of it has visual appeal. During fall, I suspect it will be quite beautiful.
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

  5. #5
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Finally finished the last leg of the planned trip (Wisconsin 11 from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan) today. Had to detour around a fatal motorcycle crash.
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

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