TRIP 2014

Update #23 - October 03rd
Sabula, Iowa
Trip : 1,369.26 miles (2,190.82 km)
Year: 9,667.92 miles (15,468.67 km)

I arrived here in Sabula around 1:30 pm Monday October 01st. There is a good chance that this will be the end of this year's rides. It will probably be around the first part of March 2015 that I will be getting back on the road again.

September 26 : Taylorsville, IL to Petersburg, IL : 55.38 miles (88.61 km)

I had an okay night at the motel even though it was run by some Indians. The room was a lot better than the room at the motel in Du Quoin I got a late start because I needed to post a trip update on the website and that took a while because the wifi modem kept on dropping me. I left the motel a little after 8 am.

The ride Northwest to Springfield went okay. For the most part, the ride along SR 29 went okay. The shoulder was okay until I got near Edinburg. There was some road construction. They were making a bypass around the town. At Rochester, I got off the highway and got on the Lost Bridge Bike Trail. This trail was a lot better than the trail between Pana and Taylorsville. The trail swung a little ways away from SR 29 in the SE corner of Springfield. I got the first 30 miles (48 km) in by 12:35 pm. I stopped at a McD's for some lunch.

I decided to change my route. Instead of taking SR 29 to Mason City, I decided to take SR 97 through the downtown area and stop for the night in Petersburg. In the downtown area, I went over to the Lincoln Historic District and took some pictures. The downtown area was taken up by a car show (The Route 66 Car Show).

Between the downtown area and the spot where SR 97 split off from SR 125, the traffic was pretty heavy. Traffic was a lot lighter and there was a narrow shoulder to ride along once I turned Northwards. Just south of Petersburg, I rode passed the New Salem Historic Village. This is where Lincoln lived for a while.

I got into Petersburg around 5:30 pm. I found some people working at the Disciples of Christ Church. They were doing some clean-up. The pastor actually lived in Taylorsville. The guy tried to contact the pastor but he wasn't able to. Before they left, the guy slipped me a $20 GH.

There wasn't anybody at the police station. I stopped at the sheriff's office. They tried to contact one of the ministers who comes to the jail to witness to the inmates but they were not able to. It was almost dusk when I left the office. I didn't really feel like trying to head out and find a place to camp out.

I decided to go around the churches again to see if I could find a contact number. At the Evangelical Free Church, I met this older guy who was going into the church. He told me that they were getting ready for a fall festival tomorrow. He got me a soda from the kitchen. He told me that the other people were down at a restaurant. Alice got brought inside of the vestibule and the guy drove me to the restaurant. The people were leaving. We tried contacting the new minister but he wasn't home.

The guy didn't think that it wouldn't be a problem for me to sleep in the vestibule. There was a church pew that I could possibly sleep on. On the way back to the church, the guy offered to buy me supper at the loal DQ. The pastor called and he offered to meet me at the church. Even with all of my references and other stuff, the pastor wouldn't let me sleep in the fellowship hall so I could have access to the restroom. The only thing that I wasn't didn't feel comfortable about is that the two doors to the outside didn't lock and they were automatic for handicap access.

September 27 : Petersburg, IL to Canton, IL : 52.52 miles (84.03 km)

It was a bit of a rough night because I didn't feel comfortable being that the doors didn't lock. The South door was less than 30 feet from the road. I moved some furniture in front of the door. I put some boxes in front of the North door. I used my helmet light because I didn't want to advertise that I was in the room even though I had closed the curtains. I slept lightly but I didn't sleep long in stretches.

I woke up aound 5 am. I was able to duck out in the dark and relieve the pressure in my bladder. It was sad that I wasn't able to clean up. I left the church around 6:30 am when it was starting to get light. I stopped at a gas station that was open to use the restroom and to get some breakfast. The temperature was a little cool but I didn't get on my jacket.

From Petersburg, it was an up and down ride for a couple of miles and then I was on top of a plateau. Because of the early start, I got the first 20 miles (32 km) in way before 9:30 am. I got into Havana around 10:40 am. I stopped for an early lunch at a McD's before attempting to cross the bridge over the Illinois River.

The bridge wasn't much of a problem. Traffic was light and there was a small shoulder to ride along. I was so much better than the bridge over he Ohio River at Paducah. There were quite a few barges waiting to be loaded up with corn from the elevators. It wasn't a long ride from the bridge to where IL 78 split off going Northwards. Right after I had made the turn, this guy came up behind me on his bicycle. He was local. What was so strange about him was that he was wearing a coat even though it was almost 80 degrees and he had most of his upper body covered up like he was afraid of being exposed to the sun.

There was a long climb out of the Illinois River valley. Instead of trying to ride it, I walked up the hill. SR 78 joined US 24 for a little bit. I rode through the small town of Little America.

The ride from US 24 to Canton went okay. I stopped for a break at a roadside rest. I also stopped to check out a couple of garage sales. A one garage sale, a lady gave me a bottle of old water.

I got into Canton around 3 pm. I stopped at the police station because I didn't think I would find somebody at the churches. I talked with a friendly officer and also a lady officer who was the dispatcher. There wasn't a ministerial association any more so she told me that she would call the Salvation Army. They were the ones who were contacted if somebody needed some help with housing. It took a little while but the Salvation Army got me a room at a local motel. On the way there, I stopped at a BK for some supper.

I haven't decided whether I am going to stay in town for church or head on out and maybe stop for church in Farmington. Because I am so close to Sabula, I feel that I don't really need to take tomorrow off even though I rode 337 miles (539 km) from Vienna.

September 28 : Canton, IL to Canton, IL : 01.51 miles (02.42 km)

It was a bit of a rough night because there was a lot of noise. There was an exhaust fan running constantly. I didn't know if it was an exhaust fan in one of the bathrooms or a fan in the attic. The exhaust fan in the bathrooms weren't vented to the outside. It was so loud that you could here it from the outside. The people below me were quite noisy. Cars went in and out of the parking lot way past midnight and there was the banging of doors and loud music. The air conditioner unit couldn't be used as a noise block because there was no way to keep it going constantly.

An indicator to the condition of the motel was the driveway up to the upper row of rooms. It was in very bad disrepair and there were a lot of potholes. I was hoping to be able to get on the internet but the signal from the office was really low. My modem could connect with the modem in the office but the signal from the office modem wasn't strong enough to pass along any data.

I'm lucky that I was able to get maybe four hours of sleep. I left the room around 8:20 am. There was some breakfast but it was mostly juice and pastries. I packed up some of the pastries to take along. I was about a three-quarter mile ride back into the downtown area.

I stopped at the Wesley United Methodist Church. I got to the church around 8:45 am. There wasn't anybody around so it took a while finding the sanctuary. The traditional service had started at 8:30 am. I waited till the prayers were ended and the ushers were going up front to collect the offering. I sat up front. The kids were coming up front for the children's sermon. The children's sermon was interesting.

The associate minister did the sermon. He used several video clips to emphasize parts of the sermon. The main emphasis of the sermon was basically making sure that your words mirrored your actions. The main scripture was Matthew 21:23-32. Overall, the sermon was okay. I really didn't understand the tie-in behind a recent professional baseball game in Chicago and the Messiah confronting the religious people in the temple in Jerusalem.

The congregation members really quickly cleared the sanctuary after the service. I talked with the associate minister after the service. His actions didn't coincide with what he had spoken about for almost 20 minutes. When I asked him about helping me find someplace where I could take the rest of the day off, he hemmed and hawed and made excuses and told me since he had only been at the church for two months he didn't know anything so he brushed me (passed me) off to the senior pastor. The senior pastor was a little more friendlier. He offered to get me a room at the motel where I stayed at. Through the conversation with the motel manager, they would try and get me into a quieter room. The senior pastor took me down to the fellowship hall where I got some juice and snacks. The associate pastor was talking to some other people at the table across from me but he didn't say anything or look at me. There was a quote from Psalms about hospitality but the members in the fellowship hall weren't that friendly towards me. I kept on thinking to myself "For I was a stranger and you didn't welcome me".

The senior pastor took me to a Sunday school class. The small group was watching a video. It was a sermon series done at a megachurch in he Dallas, Texas area. The congregation was really huge being at least five thousand or more. This was just the main building and there were to be several overflow campuses. What I was thinking about is if they were there for the religion (unknown because I didn't know the denomination), the fellowship (a country/ social club mentality), or the appeal of the minister (giving the guy rock star status). The sermon talk was interesting. After the video, I was given the chance to talk. This was my 55th church for the year.

When I got outside to Alice, I foud a $5 in my helmet. I'm thinking that it was from one of the members in the Sunday school class. It was a short ride back to the motel. I hope that tonight will be a little bit better than yesterday.

September 29 : Canton, IL to Kenawee, IL : 58.17 miles (93.07 km)

The room was a little better than the one yesterday. I was able to get the curtains fully closed and they go the room a little darker. The main thing that made the room a little subpar was that there was a large rip in the carpeting right in front of the bed. The air conditioner was one that you could keep on running but the fan bearings were going out so it squealed some.

When I was assigned the room, the maids had just finished cleaning the room but there were no towels or washcloths. I didn't fully lock the door with the security lock because I knew that one of the maids would be back in a couple of hours with the clean stuff for the bathroom. I thought I would try and get in a short nap. Just as I was falling asleep, the door opened with a bang when it hit Alice. It was the owner's wife. She brought in the towels and washcloth from another room. She told me that she had knocked but I didn't hear her. When I had met the owner, I thought that he might have been from Eastern Europe (Czech or Hungarian). They were in fact from India and this was another Potel.

When I talked to the owner yesterday morning and told him that I didn't have any luck getting onto the motel's wifi, he told and showed me that he had gotten a signal booster for the system. I had thought that he was going to install it that day but he didn't. I still wasn't able to get onto the wifi network.

I checked out of the motel around 7:20 am. I backtracked into the downtown area and then I turned Northwards on IL 78. I stopped at the McD's for a light breakfast and also to get on the internet. I was hoping to have a quiet breakfast and get my emails done but there was this one guy who was really annowing me. It was really hard for me to be civil around him. I almost chewed him out for being so slothful. I quickly finished my breakfast and left.

The ride Northwards went really well. I got the first 20 miles (32 km) in by 9:30 am. I got 32 miles (51 km) in by noon. I got 40 miles (64 km) in by 1:35 pm. There wasn't really any place to stop and have some lunch so I pushed on to Kenawee.

I got into Kenawee around 3:10 pm. I stopped at a grocery store to get a loaf of bread. Since I hadn't had any lunch, I stopped for a hamburger and some iced tea. I rode into the downtown area. I wasn't really expecting much because the town's population was over 10K. I was more than willing to keep on going and find someplace to camp out but I saw some cars at the Methodist Church. The sign on the office door said that they would close at 4 pm and it was 3:40 pm. I was expecting just to find the secretary in the office but the pastor was there. He told me that the pastor who was at the Canton church was here before he left for Canton. There was an offer to get me a room at a motel but I just told the pastor that all I needed was just a place to stretch out my sleeping bag.

There was a motel close by but it had to have been a Potel. It was in bad shape and went I rode passed it, I saw some mattresses lying in the parking lot. Coming into town, I rode passed a couple of chain motels and there wasn't any guarentee that I would have gotten a room at one of those. Alice was brought inside to the fellowship hall. I was taken upstairs to the parlor classroom where there were several couches big enough that I could sleep on. The parlor also had a kithenette and a restroom. The only two things that I am concerned about. There are just half curtains in the windows and a couple of streetlights outside and the church has an alarm system that arms itself a 10 pm. The pastor is supposed to come here before 10 pm and disarm it.

I'm 72 miles (115 km) away from Sabula. I haven't decided on whether I was going to stop for the day in either Prophetstown or Morris or try and get close and find some place to camp out along the bike trail along the Mississippi River. There is a campground at the state park in Thompson but I don't know if I could get that far before dark.

September 30 : Kenawee, IL to Morrison, IL : 49.87 miles (79.79 km)

I had a pretty good night staying at the church. It was warm enough that I didn't need to use my sleeping bag. Once the boy scout troop left around 9 pm, the church got pretty quiet. The pastor had come back to disable the alarm system. I was surprised that I slept okay. I was able to get on the church wifi network so I was able to get the website updated. I was worried about the streetlights outside but they weren't that much of a problem because the lights were lower than the window. I got around 5.5 hours of sleep.

To make sure that there wasn't any conflict, I left the church around 7:20 am. It was really cool. The temperature was at least in the low 50s. I walked through the most of the downtown area.

The ride north was a little slow because there was a cold wind coming from the North. I was almost 10:50 am when I got the first 20 miles (32 km) in. The next ten miles (16 km) went a little more quickly. I got 32 miles (51 km) in by noon. I stopped for a short break in Prophetstown. In the afternoon it got a little warmer so I was able to take my jacket off. I got into Morrison around 3:15 pm. Since I was getting close to Sabula, I was a little torn on whether to try and get closer to see if my friends could come and get me or find someplace here in Morrison to spend the night. I called my friends up. They couldn't come and get me because they had to go to the Quad cities for some ministerial counseling training.

I went around town to check out the churches. I found the pastor in at the Methodist church. They had some problems with people staying overnight in the church. The pastor told me that there was a ministerial association and if I would go to the city hall across the street and talk with a police officer. I met with the chief of police. He didn't see any problem in giving me a vocuher so I could get a room at the motel on the East edge of town. The room was okay even though this was a Potel.

I've been mulling over a sign that I saw at a motel last week. "We are just pencils in God's Hands." Farmers are harvesting corn and soy beans. Corn seems to be a waste of biomass. The corn stalk could be up to ten feet all but it only produces one ear of corn. There is no guarentee that this ear will be a full one with kernals because of rot. The soybean plants produce a lot of pods. The seeds are tinier but there are a lot of them on each plant.

Tomorrow is the last day of this trip. I could be the last day on the road this year or just a break.

October 01 : Morrison, IL to Sabula, IA : 38.31 miles (61.30 km)

I had a pretty good night. The room wasn't that worn down. I wished that there was wifi but there wasn't. I left the motel around 7:15 am and backtracked into the downtown area. I stopped at the McD's for a ligh breakfast. Following US 31 was a little tricky through Morrison because the roadway was kind of rough, there were some hills, and lots of truck traffic. Once out of town, there was a shoulder to ride along.

The eight miles (13 km) to IL 84 and Fulton went okay. I stopped at the gas station before getting on the Great River Road Bike Trail. There was a bit of a tailwind to push me along. A couple of miles out of Savanna, I got off the bike trail/ path and headed east to IL 84. I got into Savanna around noon. I stopped at the McD's for some lunch.

I took my time getting through Savanna and got to the bridge over the Mississippi River and crossed into Iowa. I got to my friend's house in Sabula around 1:30 pm. This tour is over. There is he possibility of taking a short break off the road till around the first of November or I could be staying over for the Winter. My friend Michele offered to let me stay over for the Winter.

The next update might posted sometime around the end of the month.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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