Friday, December 11, 2009

Louisville area Visit

Went to West Virginia last week and on the way went to Louisville, KY. Stayed at the Tucker House Bed and Breakfast and visited Lynn's Paradise Cafe. Both were well worth the experience. The Tucker House is operated by Devona and Steve Porter. They are very nice, the rooms we saw were furnished nicely with antiques and it is in a pretty setting just out of the business of Louisville. Lynn's is a great restaurant in Louisville which has great funky tables and decorations that kids will love. Every table seems to be different and have games on them for the kids to play. If you like the games they are for sale along with a lot of other neat stuff in the gift shop in the front of the restaurant. Oh, and the food is great, too. I mean, fried green tomatoes. Who can't like those? We also went to the Bluegrass Brewing Company, a nice microbrewery that has two locations around Louisville. There are lots of places we want to see on future trips to Louisville.

Going to list some more on geocaching, benchmark hunting, and bicycling soon. Right now doing indoor workouts and spinnng at Gold's Gym in Bloomington, IL. The Gold's Gym is not perfect but pretty nice and hope to get ready for this 175-mile bicycle ride next summer by working out at Golds. I'm not getting any money for listing Golds here. And, I'd encourage anyone who can to go to a gym, any gym, especially in the winter, if you live in areas like Illinois that have nasty winters where you have limited exercise possibilities for months at a time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Before the weather went bad, I did a lot of servicing of my geocaches by bicycle. I have several on the Constitution Trail here in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois, and check them a lot by bike because it's the easiest way to check them relatively fast and get some exercise at the same time. I also have a lot of caches in the country south of Bloomington I check on regularly by bicycle. I could probably get in a 60 or 70 mile ride by checking them all the same day. Have never done that but think I'll try that next spring. I'm sure it would be at least 70 if I went to the furtherest north on the Constitution Trail GC1T3XTand then to the ones in Lexington, Illinois; GC1CXWK and GC1DHNC.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan

Went to the nice northern Michigan community of Traverse City last weekend and found a few caches. Didn't try bicycling in the area this time for any geocaches or benchmarks but did hit the lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula to the north of Traverse City, an interesting microbrewery called North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City and enjoyed the great colors. We also went to three wineries. One was the Peninsula Cellars, in a 19th century schoolhouse 6 miles north of Traverse City. The others were Black Star Farms. and Chateau Chantal. On the way up we stopped at a restaurant called Clementines in South Holland and tried a seasonal brew from Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo. On the way back, we went to New Holland Brewery in Holland, Michigan.
I will list the geocaches I did find there on this blog soon. Most of them would be great to find on a bike and the Old Mission Peninsula website cited above lists a good place to start your bicycle touring of the beautiful area. There are also lots of places to buy local apples, cherries, and other produce in the area.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Route 66 2009 Publicity Bicycle Ride

Last week I went on two days of a bike ride along the old Route 66. The goal of the St. Louis to Chicago ride was to publicize and encourage bicycle touring along the old Route 66. It was organized under the auspices of the League of Illinois bicyclists. About 30 people did the entire six-day ride which must have been fantastic. A large contingent of the riders seemed to be from the Mclean County Wheelers bike club based in Mclean County, Illinois. Now, after only doing two days of the ride, I wish I had done the whole ride, except maybe the part from Joliet, Illinois, to Chicago. I'm not real excited about the idea of trying to ride in the urban Chicago area. I do hope to ride some or all of the remainder of the old Route 66 some day. At least the Illinois part. The photo accompanying this blog was taken of most of the group at a former Route 66 service station in the Bloomington, Illinois, to Pontiac area.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying

I rode my bicycle down to a local lake and caught the bass in the picture with this blog on a fly I tied myself in a class I went to last winter. It is so neat to be able to tie flies, fish with them and catch fish. It isn't a very big bass but it's the first one over a few inches long I've caught with one of my own flies. If you ever get a chance you may want to learn to tie flies.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

St. Albans, West Virginia, Alban Theatre Restored

Not too long ago I went back to my hometown and heard that the old theatre I went to when I was a kid has been restored. I wasn't able to get inside of it on the day I was there but the outside sure looks nice.

Buckeye Lake, Ohio

Trying to catch up here on posts. I recently went to Buckeye Lake, east of Columbus, Ohio, and enjoyed some boating with the family as well as taking an 8 or so mile bicycle ride to a neat little nearby town. Ate at a restaurant the Old Canal, that is on the remains of a canal. You can rent bicycles or canoes out of this place or just eat there. The pictures are of the 3-story yellow concrete house I stayed in and of a marina where there is a restaurant that sometimes has entertainment down the lake from the house. There are lots of interesting things around this area to see but one can only see so much in one day. Didn't even pick up any benchmarks or caches while there.

My Benchmark Contest Standing

I forgot to list on here that I came in 7th or 8th in the benchmark logging contest this spring. Didn't put the ummph in it this time I did the first one when I took third place. There just aren't that many within easy access that I haven't found already. If there is another benchmarking contest I'll have to stake out a new area where there are quite a few new to me that are available.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bike Riding and Benchmark Hunting on West Virginia's Fantastic North Bend Rail Trail

My brother and I took a 2-day trip a few weeks ago on the North Bend Rail Trail which is between Clarksburg and Parkersburg in north central West Virginia. l'm going to list some comments on the rail trail trip and a few more pictures for anyone interested in riding the North Bend Trail. We stayed in the lodge at the North Bend State Park, near the west end of the trail. There are 10 tunnels and about 25 bridges on the trail as well as some interesting little towns along the over 70-mile trail.. There are also two places which make custom marbles and marble like glass. One we went by is Sam's Crystal Creations. The other one is in Davis Marbles in Pennsboro. They have a nice storefront in this friendly little town and an amazing array of marbles, paperweights and various similar pieces of glass and also will make custom marbles.

I've downloaded a few pictures of the trip but have only posted one picture of the 20 benchmarks I photographed and posted on the benchmark database. This one, which you see in the pictures with this post was at the West Entrance of Tunnel 6 on the trail near West Union. The original, put there in 1943, was destroyed and this one, called a Reset, was put in in 1963. You can look up my others listings on there under wvhillbilly59. I may list some comments on the benchmarks in future blog posts on here but all of the postings I made are on the database.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I will soon be listing some more information on my bicycle geocaching and benchmark hunting. But, right now I want to register my disbelief that the RIAA has won the outrageous case against the poor young lady of some $80,000 for every record she supposedly illegally copied. This is such a ridiculous miscarriage of so-called justice and such an example of part of what is wrong with this country now, big business with their armies of lawyers being such a bullies and such jerks.  If recording industry executives and artists got paid a little less than their outrageously obscene amounts of money they do, the recordings could be so much less expensive and more people would be willing to pay a reasonable price for their music. Instead, the industry charges obscene prices and behaves like gestapo storm troopers (think brainless money grubbing lawyers) in cases like this.   

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I haven't been on here for a way too long but have been doing a lot of stuff I'll list soon.  One thing is trying to find out more about the benchmark I'm putting in this post. I pass it often on my bicycle rides.   It's between a couple of tiny towns,  Ellsworth and Cooksville - both in Illinois - I go through often while trying to put more miles in my rides.

I've been taking part in a very small contest to see who could photograph and verify the most benchmarks in a three month period this spring.  

I've also been setting out a series of  geocaches that are easily accessible by bicycle.  Actually, I go from one to the other checking them during my regular rides around Bloomington/Normal, illinois.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've been doing some bicycle based searching for benchmarks lately.  I'm trying to combine training for a one-day, 160-mile, bike ride and searching for benchmarks for a benchmarking contest I'm participating in.  Figure that's the only way I'm going to get to do both. Now, if I can just get the Central Illinois spring weather to participate.  The 4-6 inches of snow they are predicting tonight sure isn't helping.  Here is a photo of one of the recent benchmarks I found. I looked for this one for probably at least an hour a year or two ago and then, earlier this month, managed to find it under several inches of still dead winter grass and a few inches of dirt. This particular one is between Bloomington and McLean, Illinois, about 40 feet off of the old Route 66. There are a lot along the old Route 66 just between Bloomington and Chicago. I'm going to be trying to find as many as possible of the ones that still exist between Joliet and Alton, which is most of the old Route 66 area in Illinois.  A lot of this I'll combine with getting ready for that long bike ride, the RAIN Ride, which is across Indiana in mid July.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm now in a new benchmark hunting contest run out of the benchmarking news groups.  I've been doing most of the searching this time on my bicycle.  It's a three month contest and I'm trying to get in shape to go on a one-day, 170-mile bicycle ride so riding around searching for benchmarks is a great excuse to put on the miles on the bike. So far, I've ridden nearly 100 miles on a bike searching for these marks.  Will put more in here including some pictures as I go along. The major problem now is for me to remember how it has to be documented on the benchmark news groups.  I did it a couple of years ago but just can't remember now exactly how I listed my finds and attached pictures as well.  

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Haven't been adding to this lately. While it isn't bicycling weather in the midwest, I'm going to begin adding to the webpage this is off of "" and adding as many bike accessible caches and benchmarks as I can find. Please let me know of any in your area.