Day 41: Chester to Goreville, IL (75 miles)

Sleeping in the Eagle’s shack (yeah… it’s a shack, or a tool shed with bunks) was a nice relief from a stuffy tent. We were both wide awake at 3:00am and contemplated leaving to beat the heat but that didn’t happen.

The beginning of today’s ride was not very pleasant as we took the 3 out of Chester. We knew it was flat but we didn’t know it was the coal truck route! There was hardly any shoulder and I felt like I was going to be squished like a bug at any moment. After 11 miles we hit Cora, where we could either have turned off on the Mississippi Levee route (partially underwater) or kept going on the 3 to Sand Creek. We decided to stay on the 3 since it was much more direct. Traffic mellowed and the road straightened out as well.



A motorcyclist turned around here and told us there was no way to get through. We couldn’t understand most of what he was saying. We went anyway.

Just as we thought. Construction workers didn’t care.

Murphysboro. Another map down. Tomorrow we’ll be in Kentucky.

We really had a mix of lousy and nice roads today.

By the time we got to Carbondale we were heat exhausted. The humidity here is killer. Found Fat Patties, seriously the best burgers on the trip.

Local bison.


After Carbondale we rode on mostly residential streets. Out of nowhere a lady on her porch asked us if we needed water, or if we wanted to cool off in her pool. Yes!! She was so sweet. Her daughter and friend showed up later and we all hung out in the pool for a while.

Refreshed and back in the saddle.
Little Grassy Lake.

Tahoma Lake Road

Crossing over the interstate into Goreville.

Matt beat me up the hill, hid in some bushes, and came sprinting out just to freak me out.

Our original plan was to go to Ferne Clyffe State Park, 1 mile south of Goreville. We stopped in at Delaney’s, a restaurant on the way because we were told they give cyclists free dessert. After milkshakes it started pouring. Lightning stretched out against the sky and roaring thunder. The owner called the church across the street and got us a spot in their basement. Pastor Tim let us in and he’s father of the owner of Helen’s Cycles and I Martin in Los Angeles. Small world.

Making dinner in a real kitchen. Glad we didn’t get caught camping in this storm.


One comment

  1. i am having a lot of fun reading your posts!! feeling the pain and sharing the great moments as well….mechanicals problems happens as well but nothing can stop you ‘). i am wondering how much weight you are gaining???? the food looks pretty good!!
    it’s all about bicycle…6 am i get up to watch the tour de france and go to bed after checking on you!! If you feel the heat think of the brave runners who started their 135 miles race in death valley(badwater) yesterday!!! or that crazy bicycle race that cross US…9 days for the winner!!!fully supported and probably not as fun as your long journey.Keep having fun.Didier

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