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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 24, 2007      Miles 57      Total miles 3162      Ended at: Shawneetown, Illinois


When I left Carbondale this morning, I was sure happy to have a shoulder to ride on. The clouds were threatening rain but luck was in my favor and I never got more than a sprinkle. There was a point when I could see a hard rain on the road a hundred yards in front of me but it was moving east, as I was, and I followed it like that for several minutes.
There are still mainly corn crops in this area. The roads are flat and the riding is easy. I like to smell the corn when I pass by. If it has the tassles on top of the plants, it has a sweet smell to it.

I am glad they don't tear all these old barns down. They are very rustic and add something to the landscape and they make my mind whirl with questions about their pasts.
A young guy having fun. Now that is dangerous.
Wanna get down and dirty? How about a game of mud volleyball? I guess there is something for everyone. Huh?

This is LK. He has done a lot of biking in his time and just bought this recumbent bicycle. He works at shows using 18th century tools and wears period clothing for those times. He makes Windsor chairs at the show using a draw knife. When he left, some of the other people around told me he used to be a teacher but didn't like that profession. They told me exactly how much his bike cost and where he got it and how long it took him to get it.
I talked to an 81 year old black man, named Steve, who has lived in Shawneetown all his life. He told me there are only six black people in the town now but years ago there were four black churches there. He said most of the black people have died off or moved away.
I was under the impression that Shawneetown had several motels. It has only one and when I got there, no one was there. There was a sign on the door to call Tammy at Hog Daddy's Saloon. I tried for an hour to reach her and went to a little store where they started calling around for Tammy but had no luck. I decided to go back to the motel and a friend of hers drove up and was able to reach her. I wasn't too crazy about the Shawnee Chief Motel because there were several dead sparrows in front of the office but it was late and I stayed.