Day 30: Jackson to Selmer, Tennessee



My new experiement for today is wearing plastic bags over my feet to attempt to keep some of the rain out.

SPOILER ALERT:  It didn’t work.


Most of my day consisted of doing this:


…and this:


The craziest part of the day was when Google routed me down this “street” …

CAUTION:  Strong Language when I realize where Google has sent me… 


Watch Part 2:


Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Tupelo, Mississippi to stay with Rufus, a host.


Day 29: RECAP – Martin, TN to Jackson, TN


Today I woke up late after resting all of Day 28, the day before.  I said goodbye to Matt at the front desk of the Len Haven Motel and headed out.

I stopped just outside of town to put on gloves, hat, and jacket.  Since I was already stopped, I figured it was a good a time as any to eat, so I devoured leftover pulled pork and a banana.  A Martin police officer stopped to see if I needed anything while I was putting on the clothing and we chatted for a few minutes.


The rain started about then and after biking for over an hour, I stopped in Greenfield to have lunch.  I opted for the buffet and was waited on by a sweet young lady named, JJ.  Shortly there after another woman stopped by and we chatted about what I was doing.  She introduced herself as Renee and explained that had gypsy blood and traveled all over the world during her life.  Renee brought JJ over to the table and introduced her as her daughter.


I rolled out of Greenfield and down the country roads on my way to Jackson.  I reached Jackson just after dark and booked myself a room to dry out my boots and clothing.

When I got to my room I opened up the dessert that Renee had boxed for me and found a delicious piece of pie and a very gracious note.




Day 25: Chester to the Cape


After waking up in the cabin at the Eagles club and heading out, I headed out through Chester, home of Popeye.


I ran across Jodie’s farmhouse Cafe and stopped in for breakfast…


Heading down south out of town in the overcast, windy, and slightly chilly weather. Looks like the rain is going to hold off another day, so time to put on some miles.


The goal today:


Day 24: Waterloo on down the river

Had a good night at the Sunset Motel, I had intended to get more things done, but once I hit that bed my eyes became quite heavy.

I woke up at 7:30… Rolled over and slept in… Agreeing with any excuse that came to mind.

I finally rolled out of the motel at 10:30, said goodbye to the owner, Steve, and his chocolate lab, and headed over to the Bean Tree Cafe.


I ordered The Works breakfast and a coffee. Not more than five minutes after I’d sat down other patrons started asking about the bicycle, where I was from, where I was going, what it was like. Everyone was friendly and supportive, a couple of women who were having breakfast confirmed the route I’d be taking today will be a beautiful hilly one down to Chester.

Let the adventure begin with half the day left… 😉

Day 23: The wait is over. Back on the road.


Dena and Rick made a great breakfast. I slept in and finally got rolling about 10:00am. I packed up all my gear onto the bike, said goodbye to Dena; Rick and I biked to Blues City Deli and has an awesome sandwich.

I pedaled through downtown looking at all of the old stone and brick buildings.

At a stop light a man started yelling at me from his car, “Are you from Minnesota? Did you bike here???” I answered in the affirmative and shouted my destination.  He proceeded to tell me he’d canoed from the Mississippi River headwaters to the gulf of Mexico… Twice.
He then asked if I was headed South why was I bicycling north?  I explained I was headed across the river and then South. He somberly responded, “Oh.”


For years I’ve heard the horror stories about East St Louis and those stories were repeated over and over again by the locals of St Louis.

The fact I’m writing this is evidence I’ve survived the ride through East St Louis.

I met a woman when I stopped for gas who asked me, if based on the license plate on my bicycle, if I was really from Minnesota. She turned out to be from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, but had been living in the St Louis area since the 1970s.  We chatted for a bit, she congratulated me on the ride, and offered to buy anything I needed in the store.

I came across an ornamental iron works business and the owner was just pulling up while I was taking photos. We chatted for a bit and he gave me some information about the quality of the roads and shoulders down toward Carbondale.  He has the Venice Cafe magic bus on his property and we bonded over that.


When biking through Dupo, Illinois, I met a man who talked about different routes and I mentioned about heading toward Memphis and he said, “Oh lord, you don’t want to go there.  Memphis is one big East St Louis.  If you have to go through it, do it during daylight hours.”

He wished me luck and recommended I ride down Highway 61 for the full Blues experience.


I finished going through Columbia, Illinois and it was already 3:15pm by that point so checking the map I saw that I wouldn’t make it down Bluff road as far as I’d wanted before dark, so I readjusted my plans and aimed for Waterloo, Illinois with the plan to get a room at the motel and then finish my paper work I’d brought with me.  Get up at six am and get a hundred mile day in along the river tomorrow.


Main street Waterloo already has their Christmas decorations up…


I had a Thanksgiving Sandwich (turkey,gravy,stuffing,cranberry) and a cup of chili for dinner at Mamma’s on Main.


Day 20: Safe in St Louis

Hanging out with Dave’s friend, Rick, in Saint Louis. I rolled up to his house around six thirty and we’ve headed out to Shelly’s for dinner and drinks.

I think I’ll hang out here a few days.