May 27th, 2019 / (135km/84mi)
I start at around 7:30am — late, but I didn’t get out of bed again – and am still undecided whether I take the short leg to Chester, IL, or extend today’s ride to Carbondale, IL But I decide that I can still make a decision later once I’m in Chester.
The ride leads thru hilly fields left and ride along side roads off the major highway. It’s quite scenic, not spectacular like Nevada or Utah, but makes for a nice surrounding to get some miles past me. It gets quite hot and muggy again today.
After 3.5hrs I reach the bridge over the Mississippi. The river is massive and the water level is extremely high. The surrounding areas have been flooded due to the massive rain that has happened further upstream over the last weeks. The original trail would have used roads which are no closed as they are under water, so I have to take a few detours. But at the end if works nicely.
The Mississisippi also marks the border between Missouri and Illinois. So when I reach the other side of the nice bridge at Chester, I also changed states again. Chester, btw, is the home of Popeye, actually, the inventor of Popeye lived here. As one of the pictures above shows, Chester (population roughly 8500) has 12 churches and on top of them they have Popeye ;-).
As it’s still early noon when I arrive in Chester and a quick ride thru downtown shows that due to Memorial Day everything has effectively closed, I decide to continue my ride to Carbondale today. There’s not much for me to do here in Chester and I don’t want to spend the whole afternoon doing nothing. Who knows how the weather will turn out to be for the rest of the week: thunderstorms are always predicted, but luckily none got in my way yet.
The second half of the day turns out to be more tedious due to the heat. But I make it to my motel in Carbondale at around 3:30am (I think). Then the usual routine kicks in which always immediately leads me into the shower.
Today, btw, is also “half time”. according to the plan. Day 30. Arrival in NYC is currently supposed to happen in another 30 days from today – with a few slack days for bad weather, shortened daily legs or sightseeing etc being incorporated. One month on the road now and another one to come. I’ve lost all feeling for time. Just planning for tomorrow, and then we will see. Holy, it’s another 30 days.