July 26, 2018
Farmington – Carbondale
161 km (100 miles)
1328 m (4356 feet) elevation
6:13 moving time
5107 km (3174 miles)
Today was a beautiful riding day, one of the best so far. The weather was cool until in the afternoonwhen it reached 34° celcius with very high humidity. The road surface was silky smooth for long stretches and we had very limited traffic except for a short stretch of road where one semi-truck did his best to try to run Saemi of the road. Probably our only real ‘close call’ so far and hopefully our last. Asshat driver!
As we ride farther into east Missouri the houses are becoming nicer and there is less trash along the side of the road. The cars are also newer and cleaner.
At the motel we stayed at last night there was a family that has followed our blog. Didn’t get to meet them but the guy at the reception told us that they had asked for us but he wasn’t allowed to give out our room number. Weird coincidence that they were at the same hotel.
We crossed over another state-line which is always fun (except when we entered Kansas 😂). We have completed Missouri and entered Illinois with only two more states to ride (Kentucky and Virginia).
We had really nice conversations with many people today. Talked for a long time with a fireman who is riding his Harley across America and was interested in coming to Iceland and finding a girlfriend.
We had lunce in Chester, the hometown of Popeye. The owner of a brewery sat down at our table for a long time to chat which was really nice. He has done parts of the TransAm and this summer finished the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel race.
Riders on the TransAm get a free beer at the brewery which Saemi couldn’t turn down even though he is hardly drinking any beer on the trip. Beer is good but it isn’t the best sports hydration. We had our picture taken and it was posted on the brewery’s Facebook page as we were their first TransAm riders. Had the best burger ever so far!
We had planned on staying in Murphysboro but heard that the motel there was dirty and had bedbugs so we decided to ride a bit further to Carbondale. On that extra 15 km ride it started to rain which is the first time in 43 days that we have had rain. It was actually quite nice as it cooled us down.
Went to two bike shops in Carbondale for new front tires but neither had the right size. When inside it really started to pour and then came the lightning and thunder so because the store was closing we had to wait it out under an awning of a store.
We had an insightful comment on our blog post yesterday where we discussed religion and guns: ‘You are in the Bible Belt where there are a lot of practicing Christians. I think a lot of rural people are more cautious and maybe distrustful. They may have less proximity to law enforcement. So they feel the need to have guns for protection.‘