Yesterday's ride was mainly flat (the flattest day yet!), however the traffic was horrendous and not too friendly to cyclists, resulting in one member of our group, Joyce, being clipped by a coal truck. Needless to say, she was very shaken up and made the decicion this morning to go home. Joyce says that she's been thinking about doing this for some time and this experience was the last straw for her. We wish her well and will miss her dearly-the group will not be the same without her but she is happy that she'll be seeing her husband and her pets again! Remember Joyce, please come visit us in Wales sometime!
Last night we stayed at a campsite (well, more like field in the middle of a residential area with little grass to pitch your tent) in Chester, Illinois, official home of Popeye the sailor man! The town has a museum and statues of all the characters around the place-very amusing!
Today brought much excitement as we crossed the Mississippi River into the state of Moussouri. As the bridge road is so narrow we had to cycle 2 abreast with the van escorting is behind to keep cars/trucks/general traffic out of the way so they won't kill us! It was really nice to go across as a group but there was a general feeling of loss amongst us as Joyce has left to return home. However, the road goes on and so does the pedaling on onwards we will go!! We are in Moussouri. Illinois dissapeared so quickly! And incase you havn't picked up on my vibes yet, let me just clarify, AMERICA IS NOT FLAT. In fact, it is nothing but hilss and mountains. We have today entered the Ozark mountains-hills, hills, hills again. Actually, they never really stopped (apparently, Illinois is flat, except for the part that we went through!). Anyway, thats my moaning out the way again!
Today was a lovely day though, the weather cooled, although we did get caught in another thunder storm! It either seems to thunder storm or is 100 degrees! Ten miles from our destination, we stopped at an air conditioned brewery (Me, Robin, Dawn, John and Hugh) and sampled 8 different beers (I don't even like beer but it was fab to do something other than cycling and it seemed to go down quite well!) Maybe a little too well as those last ten miles felt like 40!!! We have heard lots of horror stories about the state of Moussouri from other cyclists; mainly to do with the hills and the traffic but today wasn't so bad. We've done worse hills! I'll be sorry I said that probably-I don't know what tomorrow will bring!