It’s the end of North Hampton Road. It’s 750 feet from a bend in the road I’ve ridden for years, and I’ve never slowed down to see it.
Frankly, there’s not much to see: a maintenance shed announcing thou shalt not pass, and Jones Creek, which pretty well guarantees it.
To one side of the shed rest an assortment of culverts awaiting use, a speedboat years past its last outing, and a mattress that seems to be skiing down a burn pile.
It’s a quiet place.
Follow the power line behind the shed with your eye and you can imagine where the bridge used to be, and when you get back on course, crossing Jones Creek on Blue Ridge Road and turning east on Ratliff, you try to imagine the old bridge from the other side and fail: nothing here betrays the erasure of the past when this was the way from Peoria to Galena—and Galena was bigger than Chicago.
April 15, 13.5 miles.