Sunday, July 23, 2017

Crossing the Mighty Mississippi

Day 50 - 7/23/17 - Farmington, MO to Murphysboro, IL - 87 Miles

Average Speed - I'm really getting tired of tracking this stat

Lodging - America's Best Value Inn
Today I crossed a couple milestones.

First, I crossed the Mississippi River and with that, I'm now in the eastern part of this country.

Second, upon crossing the river I entered Illinois, the 8th state of this trip.
Nothing but Net

As you can see by the mileage and the milestones, this was a big day.  The first half of the ride was hilly, while the second half was flat.  I think the second half was the more difficult, owing to the heat and the fact that there wasn't an iota of shade!!  The sun beat down on me relentlessly.  For the last half, I chose an alternate route, which was called the Mississippi Levee Alternate.  I'm envisioned riding along this levee with idealic views of the river...NOT...I didnt even see the stupid river.  I found myself out in the middle of nowhere...among one lane, poorly marked roads...trying to find my way...did I mention the unrelenting sun that beat down upon my pitiful head???

Not wanting to paint a doom and gloom picture, there was one bright (poorly chose word..since every pedal stroke was "bright" under that God forsaken sun), there was one oasis of respite along this alternate route...
The map showed a restaurant in the tiny town of Neunert, and low and behold, when I rode by, they were open!  I staggered inside, starving, thirsty and spent.  The two ladies working inside treated me like royalty.  I drank glass after glass after glass of ice cold water!!  I ordered the Reuben sandwich with potato salad and in short order devoured every morsel if this delectable treat.  They even filled my water bottles to the brim with ice and water.  All of this for the sum of 7 bucks and some change!!!  I left there a new man...thank you ladies...or were they angels?

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