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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 22, 2007      Miles 83      Total miles 3062      Ended at: Chester, Illinois


Last night when I took a shower in the outdoor shower, I washed my clothes and hung them up to dry. When I got up this morning, they were wetter than they were yesterday. So, I strapped the wet clothes on the top of my trailer to dry. I was on the road by 6:00 AM and it was very, very wet from the humidity. The vapors from this farm pond and the fog were very pretty.
When I got to Iron Mountain Lake, I stopped into a very old store and got a drink. I was thinking about taking a shortcut to the next town but the lady inside said it would be much better to ride four extra miles to avoid all the truck traffic on the short cut. I like to talk to the local people because they have a wealth of knowledge about their own area. In this case it was a longer ride but much safer.
This man, outside of Farmington, had the very best peaches. I bought two pounds of them and they were so good I wish I had bought four or five pounds. They were another lifesaver for me because there were no cafes anywhere around. I had them all eaten by the days end.
This house was built in 1894 and has 3,900 square feet. It is just beautiful and the yard is gorgeous as well. It is for sale and the asking price is $495,000 in Farmington, Missouri.
Wineries are popping up all over the eastern part of Missouri as I ride through. They are all very well kept and beautiful. One grower told me he is producing between 400,000 and 500,000 tons of grapes per year in his seven year old field.

I have never seen a more active Purple Martin colony than this one. There are many more Martin houses that you can't see in this picture.
Last night Ron and I talked for a while and we were feeling pretty smug that we made it through the Ozarks and how nice it was going to be to finally ride on flat land. Well, we were so very, very wrong. We did have about twenty five miles of rolling hills but they suddenly turned back to the 10% grades. I was very tired after riding for 50 miles and wanted to call it a day but there were not camp sites or motels or cafes anywhere until I got to Chester, Illinois. I surely wouldn't have ridden as far as I did today except I had no choice.
There is something about the Mississippi River which I love. It isn't an especially beautiful river. Maybe it has to do with all the stories written by Samuel Clemmons.