Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 27 - Chester, Illinois to Farmington, Missouri

Tuesday, May 17,2016 47.3 miles(76.1 km)

After a night that was less restful than most I have had on this trip (Frank did not like the combination of a taco salad followed by buffalo chicken wings and he let me know) I woke up to a steady rain.  I was quite happy that I had spent the night in the Eagles cyclists' bunkhouse.   I got loaded up and started to ride.  I asked a local woman if there was a cafe that served breakfast in Chester and she said yes, Joni's on State Street near the courthouse.  I was pleased with that as my route was on State Street and went right by the courthouse.   I ride down to Joni's and see the sign saying it is cafe and bakery... Great!! Just what I wanted.  Hmmm why is it so dark.  Open Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesday.  Not again!!!   I have options I can either ride back up hill to where Hardee's and McDonald's are or I can continue and stop on the other side of the river at the convenience store located there.  I decide to go to the convenience store. (I don't ride up hills I don't need to)

Before leaving Chester I stopped by the visitors center to take a photo of the bronze Popeye statue and also take a photo of the bridge I was about to cross.

Popeye Statue

Chester Mississippi River Bridge

The bridge across the Mississippi River at Chester is a narrow two lane bridge without shoulders.  Once on the bridge it went well, traffic was very light and those vehicles I did encounter gave me plenty of space.

After crossing the bridge I stopped by the Missouri welcome sign... it feels good to be welcomed. :-)

Welcome To Missouri

Next stop was the convenience store for some breakfast.  They had some biscuit sandwiches which just did not appeal to me.  They also had hot dogs on a roller heater and along with hot dogs they had some different sausages and other things shaped like hot dogs so they could be heated on the roller.  I decided I would get one hot dog and something else.  Jalapeno sausages were out, Frank does not like those in the morning.  Buffalo chicken hot dog shaped things were out, Frank was not happy with buffalo chicken from the night before.  I opted for a sausage, egg, cheese hot dog shaped concoction.  Bad choice, it tasted what I imagine canned dog food would taste like (I do not have personal experience with the taste of canned dog food).  Its flavor was reminiscent of the canned eggs and ham found in the 1970s era C-ration, I didn't care for them either :-).   I guess I will stick with two hot dogs in the future.    

The ride on the Missouri side of the river started off nice and flat as it was in the floodplain.  There were several trucks along the route in this section however they were all very courteous and gave plenty of space.

Mississippi River Floodplain In Missouri

After about ten miles the route left the floodplain and became quite hilly.  None of the hills were very large but there were many of them. Once I got to St. Marys, Missouri I stopped at the convenience store there for a snack and coffee as it was the last stop available for the rest of the day.  While there Tyler caught up with me as he had left Chester after me.  We left the stop together and he took a few more photos of me and then cycled on.  He will get several days ahead of me however once in Colorado he is leaving the route for several days to attend a festival in Telluride and I will get ahead of him again.  He will probably catch back up with me somewhere in Montana.  

The rain continued to increase as the day progressed and was pretty much a downpour for the rest of the day.  It made for a quite uncomfortable ride but I continued on to Farmington, Missouri.

Hilly Rainy Missouri Countryside

Hilly Rainy Missouri Countryside

Once in Farmington I was to meet up with my wife Patty and then leave the route for a few days.  We met up in downtown Farmington.  We loaded my trike and trailer in the vehicle and I changed out of my wet clothes in the car.  I am sure I was wetter than I get when taking a shower, I was so wet and cold it felt good to get dry clothes on and have the heat going in the car.  

It is good to be taking a break.  It is only the second break so far on the trip and I haven't taken a day off since eastern Kentucky, it was time.

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