Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kirksville to Quincy IL 98.8 miles - 2,455.9 miles cum

The states are starting to roll by now. We have left Missouri and entered Illinois today! It was very foggy today when we left for our very long ride today. We headed East for the most part. The winds were calm for most of the morning. The fog gave an erie feeling to the ride as Eastern Missouri seems empty. We hardly saw anyone today. Very little traffic on the roads, nobody working in the fields and hardly anyone in the towns. It is like everyone has left this part of the state. As we did yesterday, we kept passing abandoned farmhouses. The fields are cultivated but nobody lives there anymore. It seems strange to see trucks and cars just sitting where they were left when the people abandoned the property for what ever reason.
Our first Sag stop was in the town of Baring. It was full of abandoned buildings. It obviously was a thriving town back in the first part of the 20Th century but barely surviving today. These small towns were supported by the large labor force back when farming was labor intensive. Now that few workers are required for the large factory farms, there is nobody to frequent the towns. When I walked into the local diner to use the facilities, I was startled to find about six men eating breakfast. I wasn't used to seeing anyone around.
The second Sag stop was located 50 miles away by the Mississippi River ferry. Meiri and I rode into the town of Canton which is where the ferry was located and decided to have lunch. We choice a small pub which had excellent food. The waitress had just graduated from high school and asked us if we were father and daughter. I guess I look my age! The thing is Meiri could be my daughter as she is the same age as my son Brad. While we were in the diner, another woman told where we could find the Starbucks in Quincy.
We left the diner and headed for the ferry. It took us across the river into Illinois. Unfortunately, there was no welcome to Illinois sign on this route. After the ferry ride, it was another 25 miles to Quincy. We decided to skip dinner as we were running late and go to Starbucks instead.
I finally got my new derailleur today and Tom and Gerard installed it. No more rubber bands! Hurrah!!!!

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