Henry to Orion 75 miles

6/22/19  

When we woke up, in the city park of Henry, we were surprised at how DRY our tents were.  They have never been this dry on this ride before.  There would not be any need to setup our tents tonight to dry.

We started the day in the same café that we ended yesterday.  Rio Vista Grill.  I had a Denver Omelet because I was thinking of Kye and omelets she makes for me when I am home.  The café normally does not open until 8:00 a.m. but they made a special exception for us and opened at 7:00 a.m.  Amy the server had the coffee ready and made everyone feel special.

There was another customer by the name of Dave.  He made all of our days and picked up all our charges.  He just wanted to show he supported what we were doing.  He made us all feel humbled by his gesture. There are so many gracious people in this world.

We had three rest stops and two were just on the side of the road because there wasn’t  any towns located in places were we needed rest stops.

The ride was scheduled for 69 miles but we put in 75 because we missed a couple of corners.  Since we had GPS we found our errors fairly quick.

The day was fairly easy because of  a strong tail wind.  We could really feel it when our route changed to the north or south directions.

Tonight we are staying at the Orion United Methodist Church.  They have a very nice facility and they   provided us a great and very filling dinner.  We will clear the church before services start tomorrow.

We are now faced with 5 rides that run between 71 to 92 miles.  We will need all our energy for this pull.

Odell to Henry 55 miles

6/21/19

The café Odell opened at 6:00 a.m. so we got there around 6:15 a.m. We have a short day for a change and we wanted to get to Henry by noon.    We need the afternoon to catch up on a few things like laundry.   I don’t have any riding clothes clean and very little camp clothes left.  It reminds me of the old Johnnie Cash song that says looked for my cleanest dirty shirt.

While leaving town I shot this view of 3 of our riders.

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Not only was it a short day but we had a nice tail wind. On some sections we averaged almost 17 mph. for a 5 mile section. We didn’t spend much time at rest stops except in Wenona where the mayor and his wife wanted some pictures with us.  They were trying to encourage riders to stop and take advantage of their facilities.  It sounds like they have a lot to offer.  There are a lot of tour riders separate and apart from the BiketheUSforMS and the small towns are competing for our visits.

When we got to camp we hurried to get our tents setup because the locals had told us  a storm would be here within an hour.

With tents setup our whole team went to the one and only Laundry in town.  They had a lot of machines so it worked out well for everyone.  The only bad thing is the change machine would not give change for a dollar.  You had to use a $5 or $10 to get change.  By working together everyone was able to come up with the correct number of quarters.

After laundry was finished a strong rain and wind storm blew in so while walking back to camp we stopped at the Dairy Queen for lunch/dinner.

Later we went out for our second dinner at the Rio Vista Grill and after they have closed they let us sit on their patio and use their internet.  Great and friendly people.  This café is right after you cross the Illinois River bridge.

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Iroquois to Odell 62 Miles

6/20/19

Today most of us went across the street for breakfast.  It was your normal small town restaurant/bar with great food.  Ed and I were one of the last to leave and one of the local gentlemen came out as we were about to begin.  He told us not to go the way our maps showed because of some construction on part of the section.  He showed us another route that didn’t reduce our mileage but it did avoid the gravel construction area.  We thanked him and took off.

The day was wet with a strong head and side wind most of the day.  Kye  even commented on how slow were going since she can track me on “Find Friends”

When we got to our last rest stop in Kempton, Ed saw a café across the street for our rest stop.  We told our support people to go on since we and one other rider were the last of the group.  We had a great lunch.  I got one of my favorite soups (chicken noodle) as part of the meal.  The total meal can be seen on the attached pictures.

I had been looking of Natural Gas Pipeline Markers ever since we got into Illinois and shortly before Odell I found some.

Now it is up to Henry Schiro to get some ROW work done.  On one side of the road the markers are clearly seen, but on the other the weeds seem to hide them.  It up to you Henry.

Denver to Iroquois 98 Miles

6/19/19

We stopped at the only place in town for breakfast.  Their selection was limited but we had to take what we could get.

First thing out of Denver we hit a bike trail which was very nice.  We thought it unusual for a trail out here but it was well maintain and 3 miles long.  We continued on to our first rest stop out in the middle of nowhere, just an intersection of two county roads.  This is where we normally depend on our own food stored in our cubbies but the church gave us some of the leftover food.

When you have a long day like today you tend to just focus on the distance to the next rest stop not the whole 98 miles.  We travel along a lot of paved county roads today.  There is very little traffic and the traffic that there is gives us a lot of room and slowly passes us.  The roads didn’t have any real shoulders so the consideration is much appreciated.

We were riding along 900N when we crossed US Highway 35 on an elevated overpass.  Just as we were going over US Highway 35 an 18 wheeler had one of his tires blow.  Rubber was flying everywhere.  I was riding behind Ed and I saw of piece to the tire coming over the bridge just as Ed was crossing.  I hollowed for Ed to watch out but there was nothing he could do. The piece to tire dropped before reaching Ed.  I can do without that kind of excitement.   When I checked out MPH it was in the area in which we were going our fastest.  My max speed for the day was 25.9 MPH on one downhill section.

We rode of over 7 hours and 26 minutes today.  Thinking about sitting in the saddle for that length of time wears me out.

We crossed over into Illinois today.  Since we were traveling on county roads there wasn’t any big Welcome sign.  The best we could do was take a picture of Illinois County sign.

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We camped out in the city park.  They had a shower with warm water.  It wasn’t great but after 98 miles is was a welcome relief.

Kelly, our lead route leader’s mother met us here and brought us sandwich fixings, fruit and other great things.

We pitched our tent under a pavilion which turned out to be a blessing since it rained hard during the night.

We are now in CENTRAL TIME ZONE.

Monroeville, IN to Denver, IN 84 Miles

6/18/19

We stopped at a diner in Monroeville this morning for breakfast.  They had a great daily special of blueberry pancakes, eggs and sausage.  The price was real reasonable.  While eating I ordered a breakfast taco.  The taco was so large I had to get the café to give me aluminum foil to wrap it so it would fit in my back bag.

I ate half of the taco at the first rest stop of the day.  This gave me the energy I needed to complete another long day.

In Denver we stayed at the Denver Baptist church.  Church members took us to the local high school for showers, then made us a delicious dinner.  We are staying in the gym which gave us a lot of room again to spread out.

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As you might guess I am tired after two long days so I am going to be brief tonight.

Tomorrow is another 90+ mile day.