Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bradford, Illinois

Bradford, Illinois
July 20, 2015
Saturday we finished the Z Tour and by Monday we were ready to ride again. A small town about 14 miles from where we were staying in the Lake Thunderbird community sounded like a good ride.
Yep, to get out of Lake Thunderbird, we had to travel through parts of the Z Tour route.
Some were smaller hills. This one was worth the climb to get to coast down. 
Going downhill, one must be on the alert for potholes and traffic. In Lake Thunderbird, one must also be on the alert for wild life. 
And you don't want this fellow to dart out in front of you. 

Once out of the Lake Thunderbird settlement, the vistas open up a bit. Note their good roads. Texas must buy up all of the #3 aggregate (super chunky) rocks forcing the other states to have good roads. 
Illinois is noted for its excellent farm land.
We just didn't remember the farm land being hilly.
Recent rains encouraged wild flowers to adorn the roads.

Soon we were approaching Lone Tree school house.
Lone Tree was named after a large burr oak tree that stood alone on the open prairie. Lone Tree also was once an unincorporated small town.
Built in 1875, the Lone Tree school house was a one room school. It operated until 1949.
Unrelated to the ride, this is a 1910 school picture of the students. Courtesy of the Bureau County Illinois History and Genealogy Society.
Onward toward Bradford.

There were still enough rollers to keep us active.
Getting a little weather worn but this corn crib is still operational.
Rollers keep coming.
Boyd's Grove United Methodist Church. Founded in 1851.
Boyd's Grove, like Lone Tree, was once a small town in Bureau County southwest of Tiskilwa. Today, the church is the only reminder of the town.
Intersection marking the Galena Trail and Coach Road.
The Galena Trail is a historic and scenic road that followed ancient Native American trails and was used by early American miners to link the Lead Mine Region of Illinois and Wisconsin with Peoria and Southern Illinois.
The sign above the trail sign limits truck weight during January to April due to frequent bad road conditions during winter.
Not historic but an irritant to many residents, wind generators line the roadway.
Main street Bradford, Illinois. Population 768.

The band stand. Made a nice little picnic area. Not shown are our chocolate milk and goodies bought at a local convenient store.
Bradford library.

To be fair, not all of the way was rollers. This is how I had visualized the Z Tour. Flat farmland.
Since it was an out and back, we passed Boyd's Grove again.
Nice road and terrain.
If we had rollers on the way out, guess what was on the way back.

 Lone Tree.
Nice barns. Not sure if it reflects German ancestry or just nice barns.
Just beyond the tree line is the entrance to Lake Thunderbird.
Lake Thunderbird has more than just rollers. Some of the inclines ranged from 11 to 16%
Nice downhill. Note sign, apply brakes.
Had to throw this in and make the ride to Bradford and back a happy ending. Thanks for the memories, Illinois.

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