16-04-25 Day 29 Popeye
Biking the TransAm 2016 Blog
2 Wheels, 6 Months, 1 Adventure
My legs were ready to get back on the bike. The stay at Bill and Martha’s was perfect… R & R…. I weaved my way back on the #transamerica bike route and rode south of Murphysboro crossing the Big Muddy River and it was muddy brown…
I had two choices of routes. One along the Mississippi Levee, the other a little shorted over the rollers. I chose the levee.
There were no convenience stores along the route so I stopped at the Gorham Post Office to mail my post cards and relieve myself. Mike, the postman, was the only human being in town. He grew up close and gave me the history of the demise… The grocery store over there closed about 5 years ago. And that building 10. All is left is miles and miles of agriculture.
Although the wind was 13 to 20 and from the south, I had periods where it was almost to my back.. It felt like Dads hands pushing me on my first attempt to ride a bike….
I noticed barges filled with coal lined up along the Mississippi River bank. Then “The access from the Road to the loading dock.” Oh No… Coal trucks were coming and leaving the port every 15 seconds.. Wow… Lots and Lots of coal…. and Trucks… Later I learned the 1,200 truck loads of coal deliver to the port each day…
I need to get to Chester and off this road….
I was looking at #adventurecycling map and read about Chester, Il. home to the whole Popeye gang. Created back in 1929 by Elzie Crisler Segar. The town has recreated all the characters in granite and placed them all around town. There is also a biker host call the Flying Eagles Club…. WHAT??
Even though it was early I had to check it out.
The buzzer sounded and the door unlocked. I walked into the private Club and was greeted with smiles and hospitality. Bubbles gave me a tour and after a beer I decided to push on. Kevin suggested I call the police department for an escort across the skinny Mississippi bridge into Missouri. After saying goodbye to Popeye I was safe in the fourth state thanks to Officer Brockmeyer and the Chester Police.
The wind continued as I pedaled another 12 miles to St Mary’s Trinity Baptist Church where I slept under their back porch.
Carbondale, IL to St Marys, MO