Wednesday July 30th

We went room the dental surgeon again. . Hey took out the implant,  and put some bone in. It was quite a procedure and Oli looks terrible. . After some ice,  and narcotics,  she is feeling G a bit better. . Again,  Richard took us around town for these errands,  and REI.
This is a day of rest and taking care of Oli.  The WiFi is nice too. The company of like-minded people is conforting. We cleaned the bikes and relaxed. Oli is down for the count.

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Tuesday July 29th

Oli visited the dentist and he said to come back tomorrow when the specialist can bone graph . Our hosts have offered for us to stay till this is done. We feel that we’ve asked too much already,  but will likely accept their continued generosity. Tomorrow will be  another dentist/errand day.
I can’t overstate the graciousness of our hosts. More than this though,  I’m thoroughly enjoying our time here. I suppose the rest is great,  and taking care of Oli is a primary concern

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His helmet says Nutcase,  and although he could be mistaken for one,  it’s far more likely that Richard will be taken for a happy,  adventurous, and
thoughtful man. We’ve had the good fortune of his company and their warm home.
Forest Park rude was nice,  curvy,  3 dimensional perimeter trail.
I’m so glad we chose the long bike tour instead of Appalachian trail hike. We’ve had a chance to meet so many different people.

Monday July 28

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In all their glory,  ours with the traveling circus guy’s.

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Last night’s sleeping spot,  Park in Breese. . Cool weather ☺
So the IA is owned by Kroger too,  or all are owned by Jay-C. It’s nice to have these little towns along our route.
Our food consisted of Breakfast bars,  pizza,  and lots of Liquids.
Enjoyed a Nap near a Corn field

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Richard, our host tonight, wants to cook us supper. We’ll be in St Louis in 1 hour.  I’m excited,  and a bit tired. Some of the County Roads are worse than any of the trails we went on . This beats- up my tendinitis- prone forearms.
I have many mosquito bites on my body,  the bike trail was great and paved,  a nice end to our bid for St. Louis, wow.
Arch,  majestic. . MISSISSIPPI Is fast-flowing.  Oli wants a riverboat.  I wanna go up the arch…

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We are on our way to Richard Long’s,  our Warm Showers host.
He and his wife Anne have a tidy brick home in a beautiful, neighborhood in Saint Louis.  He enjoys cycle touring and camping. These common interests and our shared profession made for interesting conversation.  We enjoyed a lentil soup (spicy) and sandwiches. While fiscussing our tours and places visited. He and Anne have been very helpful. He’s offered to drive us to places so we can run some errands. Anne enjoys running,  and not biking. She works with Hospital Chief officers nationwide (showing them how to behave – compliance,  for some Catholic affiliated chains of hospitals. She helps them to stay within regulations.
We’re grateful to have all these comforts.

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A flowing mural alongside the Confluence riverfront trail,  depicting the Mississippi.
Richard and Anne,  our Warmshowers hosts, are nice people.  Having a nice place to rest,  showers, Food,  and a ride to the dentist was really nice. We really enjoyed the ride he lead to forest Park,  a huge Park in St.  Louis,  complete with free museums and zoo. .

Sunday July 27th

Got a good start, hot, 930. Salem IL,  breakfast in Salem,  Walmart rainwear purchase,  rode to Carlyle lake (some state park) . It was 90s Temps and West wind

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(in our face)  10-15 mph. It was a rough trip. . The lake was obscured by woods and the dam and so we did not know we were there till the last second. . We arrived at the smaller of the parks,  No one was there,  the water was wild from the wind,  and the entry to the water was sharp rocks (thank goodness for my rubber Teva’s.  After Salmon lunch packets ,  and a nap,  we proceeded to Carlyle town. After a brief,  pressed on to Breese. IL (bedded in a city Park Pavillion. ( boxed ourselves in with tables,…) .
Oh Yeah,  in Salem,  outside of an IGA,  she stood. Her beauty I could not help but appreciate,  Oli even admired her:

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Yes,  another Panasonic. He was with the carnies in town,  said he picked her from the trash (like Oli did). We asked if he wanted to join us for a ride to Kansas,  but he declined.

Saturday July. 26tg

Late start,  breakfast at burger King,  yummy pancakes,  had to go to McDonald’s for work. . Contacted Jeff Lee. LEBANON on warm showers for route assistance. . He was very kind and will email me a minimal traffic rout that he is  with.  Also have possible host in St Louis for Mon or Tues. Richard Long,  a professor of English at a college in St Louis. I’m impressed with warm showers. It’s hot and sunny,  starting out at 1300 hours. . Hot,  rain likely later.
Met Mable Smith, Gale Smith, and Tammy Wyman in Xenia. MABLE was looking for her runaway heifer and 2 calves. We were detained by them as they commandeered the road. . These Angus beasts were not moving for our bike bells, but passing cars scared them into the ditch, where they ran, surprisingly fast, toward an open slot in the fence of a pasture. After direction Mable to them, we were offered a field in which to sleep. . Her daughter Tammy warned us of the potential for tornadoes, so, after discovering there was a Pavillion in Omega, and setting. G out minds to bike there, these kind people said we should put bikes in the pickup and ride there. We were happy to have this opportunity. They took us to I. Ega in a truck, reply nice people, (it was 1130 pm and possible tornadoes coming…. . Stayed in a nice Pavillion. I mean nice: clean, smooth cement floor (air mattresses) . Many picnic tables to spread out gear on. A. Concession Stand counter top and will to serve as a head board and convenient shelf, lights if needed, we didn’t. . A store next door with restaurant – opens 5 am…

Friday July 25

Started 1 hour early (due to time zone) . Stuff is damp,  even under a roof…. . Slept like babies,  the Big Angus? Air mattresses are great,  cool comfortable sleeping weather.
Passed through some small towns,  one older man in Noble said “you looking for a nice place to eat?” he pointed at the dinner down the road.  He was quick to add that it also happens to be the only place to eat. .
RT 50 rant :  bicycle tourists may be interested to know that Indiana and Illinois. Have only route 50 to Traverse the southern part of their States,  and that this is generally an unsafe route.  There are few parallel paths,  and most are not fit for some mountain bikes.

It’s been a challenge,  especially for Oli. Her bike weighs more than she does. This makes it suicidal for her to be on parts of rt 50 (parts indicated o. Delorme atlases as being acceptable for bikes.).  She’s been walking her bike 2 miles. . This is because after braving 50, she was nearly sucked down by a. Often from an aggressive Walmart semi driver.
One helpful Samaritan,  when asked whether rt 50 had a shoulder),  said yes,  and that it was very wide. It was very wide. . Sweet,  right? . Wrong. . It was unusable due to the deep Rumble strip spanning the whole Lane. . Every 40feet, this large rectangle engulfed the shoulder.
It rained for 2 hours and we got wind dried for another 2 as we approached Flora. . Oli’s beat. I’m tired too.  We checked into a Red Carpet inn. . Nice clean non smoking (that actually doesn’t smell of smoke). Mic,  fridge,  50/night…
1000 miles behind us,  yah!

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Thursday July 24 part 2

Left Amber and Mark Gerkin’s warm home and ran personal errands in town. . Oli’s implant needed a surgeon,  we were sent to St.  Louis.
  nice food,  bridge before Illinois (the George Rogers Clark Memorial was quite a site.
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Cool church

Interesting church

Bottoms up pub
had nice chicken sandwich & pretzel bread sticks a Sam Adams beer, oli enjoyed the sweet potatoe fries, bakes beans, yum.. Very nice people,  made new friends,  Brian told me about awesome hike on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario,  get a bike Brian,  ride on on SC man! . Thanks Kat for the great time and food!

One lady invited us for breakfast (had to decline to our schedule).
Nice night to ride! RT 33 Camped here, always dig the pavilions
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We watched some of the documentary 11th hour on the tablet

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