Friday, September 18, 2015

Days 29 and 30- Illinois and Kentucky! It's the final countdown....

Illinois was a nice short state. We entered Illinois after another hard hill day in Missouri. I have never seen the raging Mississippi. It is a lot bigger than I thought. When we crossed the bridge, the town of Chester had a statue of Popeye. We were having a lot of bike difficulties and so we had to spend half of day 29 at a bike shop getting a new chain, a new cassette and a tune up. Doug, the owner of Phoenix Cycles was so awesome! He took great care of us and gave us his time even before his shop opened! Thank you Doug!

 I spent that time off at the Good Samaritan Shelter in Carbondale. I met with the Executive Director, Mike and he gave me a wonderful synopsis of what the economy was like. Coal has really taken a hit and the only big industry in that county is the college and the medical field. The state of Illinois is struggling financially to say the least and this shelter needs funds. The state hasn't released the grants yet for the year and this is a huge problem for Good Samaritan Shelter. I am so happy to be from Utah! Many of the clients at this shelter are displaced coal workers.

We rode until we ran into our friend Janis again! She is the rider we met in Colorado. She is still riding strong and motivated me to quit my whining.

Day 30- Headed out of Elizabeth town and rode to the ferry on the Ohio river. This ferry is the shuttle between Illinois and Kentucky. Free ride! We rode past fields of tobacco, soy beans and lots of horses. Kentucky also has dogs, dogs that chase you. I spent the day acting like top gun "goose" to spot for dogs. No one got bit!

We ended our day in the little town of Utica. Their volunteer fire department is awesome! They open their doors to cyclists for no charge. It is air conditioned, had washer/dryer, oven, and very accommodating. The fire chief came in and introduced himself. Keith said his dad started in 1976 started hosting cyclists at the local church and sometimes would have over 200 camped in the church backyard. So the tradition no continues at the fire department.

Thought for the day- Energy is contagious! When we met up with Janis and realized we could ride some longer days and power through...we were so energized to get on the bike and speed up this finish. The same kind of energy happens in life. Stay around positive people and you are energized by their attitudes. Stay around negative people and you are drained. May we all be energetic and positive forces to those we come in contact with.
Ferry ride from Illinois to Kentucky- With Janis, Richard and James

Janis keeping us on pace for another 100 mile day

Tobacco plants getting ready for harvest

Janis, Bob and I at the Kentucky border

Grand Mississippi

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