tirsdag 22. juli 2014

Day 41: Illinois!

141.3 km

Doing my best to leave the hostel in Farmington in the state I found it, I got going at around 7:30. During my stay in Farmington I had downloaded some audiobooks on my phone so the early morning kilometers with storytelling went by in a jiffy. I stopped after about 60 km to apply some more oil to the squeaking chain before pressing on towards Illinois. The terrain had been moderately hilly but as I closed in on the Mississippi river, it started to flatten out. The traffic had been quite terrible with huge coal trucks flying by very fast. 

Crossing into Illinois over the Mississippi river to the town of Chester, I stopped to take a bite to eat. The temperatures were working their way up to the high 30s centigrade by now and the high humidity made it very noticeable. Sweating intensely, I pushed on down the Mississippi levee alternative route hoping to get a scenic ride along the river. I decided to deviate from both the mapped alternative and the main route by cutting straight through to Murphysboro, after seeing that the route didn't offer that great of a view of the river. The heat was bearable as long as I kept moving, generating a wind, but when I slowed down to start a long climb up to Murphysboro and the air was relatively still around me and the increased physical labor made for a tiring ride. By the time I got to the top, I was so warm that I poured half a bottle of water over my head and headed into decent to cool off. When I arrived shortly after in Murphysboro I looked for a park to lay down and relax due to the long ride in the tiring heat. Riverside park was a huge quiet area with trees and benches so I filled my water bottles and found a place in the shade and rolled out my sleeping mat.

The short ride to the neighboring city of Carbondale was pretty ok and due to the lack of camping possibilities I checked in at shady motel. It was bitter having to take to a motel and I later regretted not pressing on another 30 km to a campground. 

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