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 28: Rainy Sick/Rest Day

Well my head cold has moved down into my chest overnight. It’s been raining for over 24 hours now, so I figured while I was sick I should just take a day off and rest.

The man at the front desk of the “American owned” motel said I sound different than yesterday.

He gave me the last of his bottle of cold medicine and said it fixed him right up.

So here goes nothing…


Day 27: East Cape to Cario and beyond…

Susan, the mother (?) Of the brother of the owner/manager came out to greet me with donuts after I explained how I was treated by the owner’s boyfriend (?) last night.


She wished me safe travels and I’m now heading South along back roads in light drizzle and will stop along the way for breakfast and then cross into Kentucky or Missouri before lunch.

Warm weather here, I think it stayed in the sixties all night, but after my experience with the boyfriend of the manager who came off more as a drug dealer / club bouncer than a campground host and the constant route 149 traffic I didn’t sleep that well.

Oh and the spiders are getting bigger…


Let’s see how far I can make it today!


Day 26: Happy Thanksgiving

I’m eating left over pizza from lunch and the can of ravioli that Keith graciously gave me while camping out in a trailer park next to a major highway and across the road from a tiki bar and a strip club in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for my first shower in three days.


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: Ducks Eat for Free at Subway

… Er, I mean, cyclists stay for free at the Eagles’ Club in Chester, Illinois (the home of Popeye.)

Everybody is super nice here in southern Illinois.


Craig and Brandi who told me about the Eagles club in Chester.  Jay and Lynn at Lynn’s bar who told me about the bridge being out and camping at the lock and dam.  Bartender, Liz, has been really welcoming here at the Eagles’ Club too.

Looking forward to a warm shower after dinner.

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.