Stumbling out of the tent in the morning I quickly began to pack. The days of riding through nothing made me want to hurry up and get through the next flat part to where nice places were. During packing the husband of the host came over to say hi. We talked for a while about traveling. He had taken a bike trip similar to what I did back in the late 50’s or early 60’s. He ran on aviation gas and said he got 100 miles per gallon. Having ridden across on a 1982 year bike I can only imagine how uncomfortable a bike much older was. The campground was pretty nice to mention. The owner had installed some super nice showers and a laundry room. By far the best camp facilities I’ve ever seen.
Back on the road I was on the US 60 once again headed through Missouri. As much as I wanted this part of the trip to open up into hills and be fun again, I was disappointed. It seemed everywhere along the 60 that I stopped for gas there was nothing but tweakers. One guy, with his scabbed up face and sunk in eyes, stared at me go through and check the bike. I looked everything over, cleaned up my gear a bit and generally tried to find stuff to do for a break of riding. But I had to get back on. The guy was creeping me out. He just sat and stared 2 feet away. As I start suiting up, he began to move around. Once I hopped on the bike he walked away. The rest of the day was the same sadly. I made it to Charleston, MO and stopped again for a long rest. I was disappointed with the flatness and boring-ness of the past few days. I hit my wall and I wanted to be done with the trip. Sitting inside the air conditioned fast food place I pull up my laptop and tried to find a good route. I was on the verge of being burnt out and couldn’t find anything. After sitting for a couple hours I pack up and hit the road again.
Along the way I stopped to relocate my backpack again. I had the one day in Arizona I carried it on the back of the bike, though since then I carried it on my back. My arms were going numb constantly so I had to rearrange how I was carrying everything. Even though the backpack had all my electronics, in reality I don’t need them for trips. Next time I’m definitely shipping them ahead of me or leaving them behind. Also was difficult to keep charged. The past couple days I only had my cell phone for photos.
I followed the 60 towards Kentucky. As I got closer my spirits lifted as I was hopeful Kentucky would make for a good end to the trip. Crossing over the Mississippi River first landed me in a small sliver of Illinois, but not before crossing another bridge over the Ohio river into Kentucky. As the road turned to the right I could see a completely different terrain. Its funny how everything seems to change at borders. Further along the road I passed farms, houses and small villages. Everything looked to be clean and in order. The sun was setting and lit up the rain clouds scattered around. Warm red hues blanked every bit of the road not blocked by trees and corn fields. I felt a ton better an I was in hilly country again away from the boring flat. I passed through Paducah, KY. Everything looked super clean. As I pass an amazingly spotless college I see a billboard saying it was one of the top 5 community colleges in the nation.
I found the Interstate and followed it a short distance to the first rest stop. It was immaculate. I stayed for a bit to release the tension of having a bad day. I pulled my phone out to find a campground, and promptly change to find a hotel. No need to rough it tonight. I had a crap day and needed a shower. I found a Days Inn off the highway right as the sun finally set. I got a room and began unpacking my bike on the bed. I locked the bike and went inside to jump in the shower. After my shower I set all my gear out to air out a bit. It had been in the yellow dry sack for a while and my sleeping bag was damp when I packed it up apparently. So it was a bit musty. I then rolled into bed and passed out.