Saturday August 8
This would be the test. Can she do it? Or will the aches and pains be too much and force us to take more time off while healing occurs. We didn’t get a particularly good start but then we weren’t shooting for the moon today either. We called Grandma Elaine from the motel room just before we left to wish her a happy birthday. She was also the first person in Michigan to hear the news about Donna’s fall from Grace. With everything packed and ready to go, we departed Carbondale with trepidation . The heat was intense as it was easily in the upper 80’s as we pedaled away. How will she (Crash) handle this?
She did just fine. I had some cramping that I’d never experienced before though. We just had most of 2 days off and I was hoping to get off to a great start. After a couple stops to massage my quadriceps, I was able to get on with the ride. Donna did great. We pedaled through some of the nicest scenery that Southern Illinois has to offer. Little grassy Lake situated between Jackson and Williamson Counties was splendid if just a bit hot. There would be no relief from the heat and humidity this day. We stopped frequently for water breaks though. Our lunch was taken in the town of Goreville. We found a neat little diner that caters to cyclists. They offer a free desert for anyone who shows up on a bicycle. Photo.
After our lunch we pedaled on as we had made tentative arrangements to meet the older cyclists at a campground down the road near the town of Eddyvillle. In the meantime we passed through several small communties that offered no services but I’ll spool them off for you anyways. First came Tunnel Hill which had only a bed and breakfast. Then came Simpson with a population of 54 and offered only a post office. Next we hit the towns of Robbs and Glendale. Neither of these sported a population whatsoever and no services either. I don’t know why they are on the map as all they have is a half dozen houses situated in a cluster. I suppose one could conceivably count on a homeowner to provide water to a dying cyclist. But most of the places seem deserted.
We pulled into Eddyville at a bit after 6:00. Eddyville had a gas station/convenience store that sold deep fried foods and also a restaurant that was closed. We passed on more fried chicken strips and decided we would fix our own dinner. The campground where we hoped to meet Frank and Allison was 2 miles from Eddyville so we set off. The campground ended up being a horse camp so we pitched our tent next to some horses. Horses were everywhere. The flies were horrendous. No Frank and Allison.
We decided to fix our dinner from some things we’ve been carting around for literally hundreds of miles. Chicken Rice-a-Roni with real canned chicken meat added. Emeril, eat your heart out! After dinner we hung out with some horses, then showered before calling it a day. The hot sticky day remained with us through the evening so baby powder was generously applied to everyone (except of course the horses). Our night was not one to forget as one of the horses closest to us had bronchitis (from too many cigarettes I suppose). It was hacking most of the night. I don’t know whose idea it was to hang out with the horses, but Donna reveled in the familiar smells. Lewis and I don’t care for the smell of horse poop. I think Frank and Allison pulled one over on us!
Donna passed her test. She rode a total of 60 miles today with only some minor stiffness. The next test comes tomorrow morning after sleeping on the ground again for the first time since the spill. But I’m confident that she has everything under control. That’s my Donna!