Tag Archives: USA

Monday 10th June

Well to use one of my husbands sayings what a ball ache of a day. As usual a early start was in order, but we decided to have breakfast 1st as it should be cheaper out of the city. The only place open nearby was a fast food place not even sure what it was called. It was revolting I had what can only be described as a scone made with the entire contents of a salt shaker,filled with plastic pretending to be cheese and something that was supposed to be eggs. Even the cola tasted like cleaning chemicals, we struggled to eat what we could not nice.

Today we were going to cross the Mississippi River and enter our next state Missouri. One of the highlights of the trip being the bridge of chains. It’s a pedestrian and cycle only bridge. One of the longest in the world 1 mile long. It wasn’t to be. The weather has been so bad here that it’s closed due to flooding. Maybe it will open next week the young soldiers guarding the closed bollards helpfully told us.

Ok then the next bridge that we’re allowed to cycle on is 11 miles down the busy road at lest it’s in the right direction. After a couple of miles we managed to get on to a cycle route. We followed that until it suddenly disappeared under water, more floods.

Finally we got across the Mississippi into St. Louis the story was the same that side. Cycle paths along the river are all under water and roads closed due to flooding.

The landscape has changed now as well. Not only are we in a large busy city, it’s hilly. We stopped at the gateway arch but couldn’t go up it today as they are worried about the state of the foundations,because of all the flooding. They are waiting to do an inspection when the floods subsides.

We push out of the city, passed the town hall this was supposed to be a place of historic interest but by this time I couldn’t be bothered to find out more, just needed to get out of the city! several roadies in their racing skin suits wizzed by me as I was huffing up hills and commented on it being a beautiful day well by this point all I could think was stuff your beautiful day up your beautiful Lycra clad arse! It’s to hot for hills how dare they be having fun!

Sorry St. Louis to be fare it looks a nice place to look around, clean and full of interesting buildings but we have had enough. Traffic, hills, heat and stop go at constant traffic lights. Much prefer country roads.

We met a fellow cycle tourer Bill. He was going the opposite direction nearly finished he’s trip. He did Route 66 but for the last week or so he’s been pushing on doing 100 miles a day as he has missed his wife and wants to get home. My husband doesn’t know how lucky he is to have me doing this with him!

A few mega hills later we check into our campsite in a town called 6 flags. That’s definitely me done for the day they’ve got a pool and it’s hot out side but I somehow can’t be bothered. 60 long hot ball ache miles in total.

Sunday 9th June

Again we had a early start, the weather is so hot but on the good news we’re going to have cooler weather next week. Tent away time to do the 14 miles before breakfast in mt olive. Another truck stop diner. Scrambled eggs,cheese,hash browns and onion in a tortilla wrap followed by a choc chip pancake. Got to keep the energy up!

Following old Route 66 again most of the day. We had a choice of 2 Route 66’s today.

We chose the 1930-1940 route to take us to the pink elephant antique shop at Livingston, home of muffler man 4 ‘Harley Davidson man’

We had a look around the shop, lots of old Interesting bits and pieces, Mike rather fancied a change of bicycle but it was a little bit too expensive.

Just short of the 50 mile mark today we roll into our home for the night a kampground of America In Granite city. They have log cabins with air conditioning and tv. Mike being a spoilt brat couldn’t resist.

After settling in and feeling very hot after we cooled off and relaxed in the pool. The 1st swim of the trip. Most of the pools so far haven’t been open, from now on it’s in full season so hopefully more pools will be ready.

Friday 7th June

Today we were planning to do 40 miles. We checked the weather forecast and it was going to be another hot day, so a early start was in order. Packed and ready for 6:30 am of we cycle we would have breakfast in Elkhart. A nice easy ride on old Route 66 taken us past a sign to tell us it’s the site of pig hip restaurant 1937- 1991 not sure why we needed a sign in the middle of nowhere for that!

Breakfast in Elkhart small town population of 400 and a early settlers cemetery. Only 1 restaurant open. Breakfast was good scrambled eggs and toast it’s a really friendly town if you can judge it by the ladies loo at least your friend can pass the paper!

After breakfast we carry on we had 30 miles more to do and it was getting hot. We check our guide book and couldn’t see anything really worth stopping for so decided to push on to get to the motel early and hopefully we could check in early.

On we go stopping briefly for drinks, suntan lotion and bug spray breaks. We were headed to a motel 6 in Springfield and had to leave Route 66 as that turned into interstate 55. Not a problem following the back roads but it meant that we missed giant man statue number 3 the lauderbach giant 7 miles out of our way.

Other places of interest here include Lincoln’s tomb and a historical town.

We arrived at the motel 12:30 pm and they allowed us to check in early. 45 miles in total today done before the heat and a relaxing afternoon great. The weather still looks hot tomorrow so hopefully we wake up early and get our asses in gear and go.

Thursday 6th June

After a early night and a lie in I felt much better. I’m not sure weather it was the heat or being over 50, but I have to say I was rough. I had a headache and was shaking into the early hours but managed to get some sleep. Apologies to Noha and Julian if I disturbed them in the night with my constant loo trips. When your in someone else’s house it’s difficult to know weather to flush the toilet in the middle of the night!

Anyway I had a little lie in and 8 :00 am Noha and Julian returned from a early morning cycle ride. They had done 25 miles before I even got out of bed! They are in training for a cycle tour of Germany on a tandem in a couple of weeks.

We joined them for breakfast, I had fruit and yogurt delicious and said our good byes.

After yesterday we had decided to have a easy day today only 30 miles to a campsite. I nice easy flat ride still following Route 66 lots of down hills to. Bonus.

The 1st tourist attraction funks grove a maple sirup farm yes they spell it with a I. The lady in the shop was lovely, she could see how hot we were so gave us each a bottle of ice cold water. The sirup was delicious so brought a small bottle for the road.

The next attraction on the road was in a small town called Atlanta were they had a giant man holding a hotdog statue. Apparently there are 4 giants on Route 66 he was called Paul Bunyan statue. Number two ticked off.

Next stop Lincoln this is the last for today. There is a campsite here 30 miles done and it’s hot. Lincoln’s attractions are a phone both on top of the town hall, apparently it was blown up there in a tornado back in the 50’s and they left it there, not sure how true that is but a good story. Google says a different story but who am I to argue with the local that told the story.

Lincoln also has a giant statue of abe Lincoln in a wagon. Lincoln is the only town that was named after him whilst he was still alive. The statue boasts to be the biggest of a covered wagon.

Wednesday 5th June

A story off 100’s. It’s 100 degrees and 100 kilometres. Ok I’ve been using miles 60 miles done in the heat and I was suffering. Yesterday was a day off so we did all our washing, in my wisdom the clean top I put on was black. So here I am in the middle of the day with no tree coverage cooking. Mad dogs and English men!

Mike was getting frustrated with me to the point that after 30 miles he was ready to call it a day. I am stubborn and tough I stupidly said that I wanted to carry on. We had a warm showers host for tonight and a promise of a home cooked vegetarian meal that was spurring me on.

A quick McDonald’s break for a cold drink and change of top we set off. Lovely old towns empty roads just hot! We were following old Route 66 must of it was now a cycle path sandwiched between a rail track and a interstate. It’s really cool that cyclists can use Route 66 but cars can’t, loving it

Lunch stop was in Pontiac a lovely town with lots of wall art. And miniature cars

We ended up at our hosts house 7:30pm hot and tired. We had some difficulty finding their home following the gps but we made it.

We were greeted with warm smiles and made to feel at home instantly. Showered and our clothes off our back in the wash. We sit down for a tasty meal, beer and for me a lovely cup of tea. Unfortunately the heat had got to me and I wasn’t feeling to great so after dinner I had a early night. They were both understanding lovely people.

Tuesday 4th June

A day off the bike today, it’s my 50th birthday. We’re staying in the motel another night and just going to relax and explore Dwight. It’s a small town but has restaurants shops and a old Route 66 garage. (Ambler-Becker Texaco gas station, 1932 era.)

We visit the garage and went out for a birthday meal at a local diner

I’m feeling relaxed and recouped ready for more cycling tomorrow. About 60 miles to do as we have a warm showers host.

Monday 3rd June

Today we will actually cycle on Route 66, Mike is like a big kid so excited I’m surprised that he even slept last night.

We left camp and headed for a town called Elwood for our breakfast. Apparently the blues brothers came from Joliet so on Route we passed their car.

We had a excellent breakfast in a diner I’m still “off” of omelette and had avocado on toast with poached eggs a big surprise for a small town diner.

We followed Route 66 all day,seeing many road side attractions. Giving us the chance to have some fun.

We passed through a small town called Gardner with a old two cell jail house, and a camping shop. My inflatable pillow has a puncture so we went in for a replacement. We asked the store owner if they sold them, she laughed and said we were the second people to ask in 7 years. She didn’t.

A excellent days ride into Dwight where we booked into a super 8 motel for two nights. Tomorrow is my 50 th birthday so we are having a day off . 54 miles completed today. I think we’re making good progress, I might just treat myself to a days sleep after all 50 is officially old.

Sunday 2nd June

Well rested after a comfortable night at Dave and Carols we left early. Dave very kindly offered us breakfast so we had some orange juice and a banana each. We thanked him for hosting us and set off. Tonight we had a campsite planned just outside Joliet this is a small town on Route 66. We are going to follow Route 66 as much as we can, where possible and is safe to do so. Today is not the day we will stick to the safe cycle trails to get out of the city.

The thing about cycle trails is that even though they are safe and traffic free they aren’t direct. If we took the road it would only be 40 miles, it was 56 by the time we turned into the campsite.

The Route was flat and easy and the sun was shining happy days. They are also well equipped with loo’s and rest areas.

The campsites was another run down site with basic unloved facilities we are getting used to that by now. Such a shame as we are both loving our trip and it’s the only thing spoiling it. I guess everyone that uses these sites all use there own bathrooms in their massive RV’s not to many people in little tents like us.

Nevertheless we both showered and changed and was relaxing on our picnic rug when a guy came over to talk to us. The usual conversation about what we were doing. He was suitably impressed and asked if we needed anything. He said he would drive to a shop for us if we wanted I don’t think he was impressed with our dinner of peanut butter and banana! We thanked him but honestly we were fine and didn’t feel like much! He left us to our “feast “. Half an hour later he returned with a tub of ice cream for us each what a star. The generosity of people here are second to none.

Saturday 1st June

Today is the day that we get into Chicago. A day that we’ve been looking forward to, and dreading at the same time. Excited because we pick up historic Route 66 and dreading as the thought of cycling into a big city was daunting. We filled our stomachs up with the motel breakfast and off we cycled.

We have been following google maps as we’ve had problems with our gps maps. The route it took us came to a industrial area with a shut gate and security. We stopped at the security station to re check that we hadn’t took a wrong turn, but that was the way it was telling us to go. The guard approached us and we explained what we were doing and asked if the cycle path went that way. Apparently not so we turned around and went back on ourselves. What was supposed to be a 30 mile day ended up being 56 miles.

Chicago is actually a very nice city to cycle in. It has a well equipped cycle route though nice parks and along the Lake Michigan. A good view of the city greeted us with a sandy beach.

We found the Route 66 begins sign and so the next stage of our adventure has started.

Accommodation tonight was very kindly supplied by our warm showers hosts Dave and Carol. They live 7 miles away from the sign in the direction we need to go tomorrow. We had told them that we would be there at 5.

Up until now it had been a beautiful day but for our last 5 miles or so the heavens opened. Tropical rain and hail stones, we sort out shelter under one of the many under passes. This made us a little behind getting to Daves house and when we turned the corner we saw a man on the opposite side of the road waving at us. It was Dave, he had come to look for us. He was very welcoming into his home and with in minutes we were sat down drinks in hand whilst Carol prepared a meal for us all.

A lovely way to finish off our day.

Friday 31st May

A early start on a beautiful morning. A nice down hill cycle ride to our breakfast stop. The campsite last night was called mini mountain, should of realised when we headed for it that it would be on top of a hill! I think I’m all omeletted out so asked for a blueberry pancake . It was a huge portion 3 pancakes in all but delicious.

No I didn’t finish it all. Breakfast done time to hit the road another 50 miles to do today. Mostly down hill on quite roads.

And some road signs to keep us amused along the way

We crossed our 1st time zone gaining another hour, as we had decided to stay in a motel for the night we arrived to early for check in. A early dinner in Denny’s next door solved that problem.