Since last posting we’ve crossed the Ohio River, the southern tip of Illinois, the Mississippi River, and half of Missouri. Today we rest for a day in the middle of the Ozarks.
Here are our bikes lined up on the ferry to cross the Ohio River into Illinois after a rain delayed start from Marion, Kentucky.
These buzzards were hanging out in the adjoining campsite one morning waiting for the sun to heat things up and create some “thermals” to ride aloft to start their daily search for fresh overnight road-kill. And there is plenty to keep these clean-up crews busy!
Here I am at our first sighting of the Mighty Mississippi about twelve miles south of Chester, MO, the town where the originator of Popeye lived and modeled the characters after some of the “river people” he knew. We passed a grain elevator for loading grain onto barges on the river, and pictured is a coal elevator as well.
Bob and Wally both pose with the town’s bronze statue of Popeye. Wally is our ride leader and also happens to be the President of the board for Adventure Cycling Association. Doctor Chuck is shown with the bridge behind him.
At our daily evening map meetings like this one at the Volunteer Fire Department where we stayed in Utica, Kentucky, we discuss the route for the next day. Cook assignments are also announced along with our destination and the venue where we will be staying. We have stayed at lots of churches where we can have access to a kitchen and sleep indoors, a welcome luxury.
At the Eagles Lodge in Chester we met these two intrepid twenty-something’s, Jenny and Lynn, doing the Transam on bikes outfitted with cat-litter-container panniers. The next morning it didn’t take long before they “chicked” us on the first hill. Our strongest rider, Tom, tried to “unchick” them to no avail. They had passed us after starting eleven days after us!
Tom relaxes in “Al’s Place”, a biker hostel in Farmington, MO. This is the nicest bike hostel in the country, a designated historical building that had served as a jail.Bonjour Marie, one of two Canadian ladies on our tour smiling after another long day in the saddle.
There are three others who are blogging about this trip and I invite you to visit their sites for more pictures and stories. Steve Malikowski has some action videos that are really fun to watch and he is an excellent writer. He has video of me scrambling to rescue my tent as it’s being blown away in a fierce thundershower. And yesterday he took video of the two of us bombing down an hill and, oh yeah, a priceless shot of me on foot pushing my load uphill in a complete state of exhaustion. Tracy’s blog is a good day-by-day account, and Bob is a very interesting blogger who has been at it for some time. Here are their sites: