7/9-7/10 Day53/54 – another Missouri zero and a big day

7/9-7/10 Day53/54 – another Missouri zero and a big day

Day 53/54 7/9-10

Zero and Farmington MO to Goreville IL

111 miles

I have zeroed more in Missouri than in any other state. Actually I think I’ve zeroed more in Missouri than all my other states combined.


Missouri is kinda…. Bleh. I haven’t really enjoyed my time in it so far. And when I got up this morning I procrastinated leaving until around 11am. I wasn’t planning on going far, just 40 miles or so. But when I got out the door at 11 it was already incredibly hot.

I know that the temperature signs they have in front of banks and what not are always higher than reality because they are in the sun…. But seeing even the thought of 108 degrees was enough to send me back inside for the day. I napped and ate and watched a movie. And told myself I’d get moving super early the next day to avoid the heat. And do a big day.

7/10 was that big day. I left Farmington around 630am, and pedaled hard and we’ll to get into my first pit stop in Chester. 40 miles done in a little under 3 hours. I felt great. Even greater because I was now in Illinois! And not just any place in Illinois – but the hometown of Popeye! Popeye was everywhere, and the statue that greeted me as I crossed the long bridge over the Mississippi was a classic. It’s always nice entering a new state because it brings new things. In this case it brought laughter.

The day was heating up though so I had to get cruising. Scotty’s Ride came in as I was getting through town and we both had decided to take the Mississippi levee alternate route. Riding next to the river and through the levee system was awesome and flat. Every once in awhile you’d pass through one of the levees, big earthen berms with sliding steel gates to keep the river back in case of the worst. It was a little humbling to know that they were regularly needed.

I stopped in Murphysboro for lunch at a KFC/Taco Bell combo. They always are a little weird, but it hit the spot. It was getting on towards 3pm when I left, with another 40 to go through the Southern Illinois Carbondale campus and a nature preserve. No problem right? Wrong. Illinois doesn’t have the nice “route 76” bicycle signs and I got careless. Missed a turn and then another one and had to backtrack a mile. The campus was also full of students (What’s a “saluki” anyway?) who didn’t always pay attention. Getting out of campus to the nature preserve wasn’t better. There were few to no street signs and the turns I had to make weren’t marked. I ended up 3 miles off course.

I was thankful when I pulled into my destination town and found the Methodist Church I was staying at. There was already another cyclist there, Jessica, who had hiked the PCT last year. I snagged a pizza, ate and promptly passed out on a comfortable couch. The day had been far longer than i wanted, but I was proud of this century.


4 Replies to “7/9-7/10 Day53/54 – another Missouri zero and a big day”

  1. KFC? Surely you could have dined at a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. (Spicey, please, and one biscuit.) Looks like beautiful scenery. Stay cool.

  2. The river looks big and I would hate to cross that bridge on a bicycle!! Hopefully things cool down. Pictures looks great, keep at it.

  3. A “saluki” is actually a dog… similar to an Afghan, a bit smaller… a sight hound from the Middle East…

    It has been hot in NoVA as well. Keep hydrating.

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