mikeanddiByCycleTransAmerica travel blog

The first thing this morning we crossed the mighty Mississippi River!

The Mississippi River peaceful in the early morning

Now we are in Illinois for a little short distance, right down...

Rice paddy's??? In Illinois?? Who knew? I certainly did not know rice...

We were really on some very rural, country roads in Illinois

This was our view at lunchtime, just found some shade under a...

Just for fun

One of those long days it is hard to go back and think what happened this morning!

How could I forget that this morning we crossed the Mississippi River! It was one of those things I was rather dreading because of the bridge. We had friends ahead, Gary and rob who had posted photos of their crossing of the Mississippi and they had to ride in the lanes of heavy traffic to get across the bridge. How ugly! But as we approached the bridge I suddenly realized we were in a different city! And sure enough, when we got to the bridge, we had our own lane! And we were early enough in the morning, there was very little traffic anyhow!! It was easy and quiet and we enjoyed the views!

Crossing the Mississippi now meant we were in Illinois! Illinois and flat!! It was great to just ride and enjoy it! We did make a little "oops" and miss a turn. Went about a mile out of the way. Funny how it just feels wrong, wrong enough it makes you stop and reread the maps again and again! If you miss one little step, you can go terribly wrong!

We got ourselves corrected and on the right track. We passed thru a few small towns, not much happening on a Saturday morning, it was very quiet on the roads. It was a very nice ride! A few ups and downs and it was just so pretty! It was like riding thru the pages of the magazine "Midwest Living". The properties were so well cared for, the huge lawns mowed, the tallest trees I have seen in ages to provide an umbrella of shade, flowers in pots hanging off porches, clean and tidy and and oh so attractive! House after house after house! Not palatial houses, just modest homes that spoke to the people passing! The farms were lush and rich and the crops tall and green. It makes it so pleasant compared to some of the areas we have ridden thru that are quite the opposite!

Our maps took us down some very interesting roads! I don't think they could find smaller roads to put us on! We are travelling way down in the southern tip of Illinois,very close to the Kentucky border as we approach the Ohio River crossing so we can cross into Kentucky.

So the day was really a good one! We did make a few more "oops" during the day! One wasn't too bad, the second one, well we somehow missed a turn and ended up getting a little lost, having to navigate a very rough road to get us back to the blacktop we were supposed to be on, thanks to a very nice lady we flagged down for help, and of course had a nice long chat about their farm,

We had a big mile day, finishing up at 82 miles. It is going to be touch and go I think as we progress heading south. There do not appear to be many opportunities to camp or even find a room for the night. Today, our first option was a cyclist only campground in a tiny place of Karnak. It was a trail head for a park and bike path. We reached Karnak so early in the day, it would have been pointless to stop for the whole day so we made the commitment to pushing on another 35 miles. But it all went well. The temperature is very pleasant, with a cooling breeze, so we cant' complain about the weather. For most of the day anyhow, it did get a little warm climbing some of those hills, but again we can't complain!

We are all settled into the Deer Run Campground and RV park in Golconda, Illinois. We are about 2 miles out of town, I think the little town ahead would have been very nice to stop in, but it didn't work out that way! We will have breakfast there in the morning.

I think I am wandering . . . .I guess I am pretty tired! I will say goodnight.

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