May 12, 2001

5/12/01 Chester, IL

42.1 miles

It was harder than I thought trying to fall asleep in that loft. I was afraid of falling off. The one time I did have to get up to use the bathroom, I had to "fully" wake up so I didn't break my neck climbing down.

This morning, we took Mark and Rachel out for breakfast at Harbough's. Very, very good. And found out a little bit more about them. Mark has been taking in cyclists since 1982. But as of June 1st, Bill will be the new owner of the "Bike Surgeon." Mark said it's perfect for a younger man, just like it was for him years ago. Some other news Rachel let slip was that they're getting married in October and headed for Europe for their honeymoon.

We said thank you and good-byes, then took our bikes through town on errands, especially laundry. By the time we were done, it was lunch time again. We are ruled by our stomachs!

Sayin' goodbye to Mark & Rachel

Our route today was a hodgepodge of other people's suggestions. The road to Murphysboro was a divided highway, but with a wide shoulder. We had a bunch of hills in the miles ahead before we finally dropped down to the Mississippi River Valley. The road was flat and straight, but for much of it we had a headwind.

After waiting forever for a coal truck to pass, we rode into Chester, Illinois, home of cartoonist Elzie Segar, creator of Popeye. I got permission from the police dispatcher to camp in the park. She also recommended Marcello's Pizza "for a good dinner, especially the sandwiches."

The park is nice, with a covered pavilion, electricity, and water, and with outhouses nearby. Now if only the pool was open.

We leave Illinois tomorrow and enter our 4th state, the Show Me State, Missouri. And I'll split from Mike day after tomorrow. Already I'm worrying about being on the road by myself. Not because of poor safety, but of loneliness.