Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 25 to 29, out of Kentucky and into Southern Illinois

Day 25 Sebree to Marion started quite late. Good wifi is a treasure so I Skype with Sonia in the morning before we left the church around 10am. We rode the 12 miles to the town of Dixon before going into Hills Dairy bar for breakfast (hamburgers and wedges). Lots of old timers in there with the owner who couldn't believe that we cycling to Oregon. Was good joking with them. We wanted to get across the river into Illinois but we were beat by the time we got to Marion. There was cyclist only lodging at the Methodist church so we stayed the night. pastor Wayne was a top bloke and compiles the best cyclist log book (with head shots) as well as having a good sense of humor. An excellent place to stay. Also - there was a log of another rider from Banbury! (A brother of a girl that was in my year at school - Nuts!)

Day 26 Marion to Eddyville. I nipped to the grocery store early to pick up breakfast (whole pot of hummus). Quick goodbye to Wayne to wish him the best then across the Ohio river on the free ferry to enter Illinois. Was great feeling so we stopped for lunch at a country store on the river front. We also stopped at a bar in Elizabethtown - we hadn't seen any bars in Kentucky so this was a novelty! A couple of beers later we kept on to Eddyville. There were some tough climbs that really took it out of me near the end. The campsite had live cowboy music and hot showers that heed me to unwind - this was a tough day.

Day 27 Carbondale was where we wanted to get to, possibly even staying for a rest day as our muscles were starting to feel fatigued. We went slow up to Goreville where we stopped for lunch at Delaney's. the owner Pete from NJ was a good chap and gave us free desert. He also regaled us with some stories from his Navy days. After lunch we rode individually up to Carbondale in the rain. It took a while to find a motel and when we did it didn't have hot water = cold showers for us. I splurged on a single room for myself, a whole pizza and an early night.

Day 28 was planned to be a rest day. However the motel still had boiler problems and the immediate area seemed very dodgy. We went up the road for laundry and watched as a drunk black dude was thrown out of the laundromat by a drunk white dude. This made our minds up, lefs check out and head to Chester. We had a mediocre burger and then rode 4 miles to Murphysbro where a driver told Norah to get off the road. Had more food there at a sweet hometown cafe. The road to Chester was very fast and busy so wasn't the most enjoyable. We stopped in Ava and had some food in a bar - A half cut local called Bart was talking to us all (as long as we were 'no islam') so we headed out sharpish. Once we got onto smaller roads I missed the turn and had to take a detour adding a few hilly miles. Got into Chester at 8pm to the cyclist lodging at the Fellowship of Eagles (not a biker gang). Excellent vibe (was volleyball Monday) and good pizza and beers. A great night cap.

Chester has been so chilled and nice that all three of us decided to spend the day 29 here. A good breakfast, seeing the Popeye museum in town (the creator was born here) and then time to chill (and write this blog post) in the sun. It's getting hot though, it's in the mid 90's today - getting on for 35 degrees C!