Today was one of the shorter riding days on Route 66 - but it was a fantastic ride through mostly prairie fields. The land is very flat, and while the corn is still mostly green with a long way to go before harvest, I treated Roma to a rendition of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from the Oklahoma musical as we passed by endless fields of corn.
Our first stop was at a corn dog cafe - delicious, but very filling so soon after breakfast. In Carlinville we stopped for a breather and I got a nice shot in the centre of town with the US flag. Lunch was in Wezzies in Hamel - most of the group were happy with their meals, I’d certainly recommend this spot. At the rabbit ranch we did not see too many real rabbits (just one!), but there were lots of original Volkswagen Golfs (which were called Rabbits in the US) stuck in the ground and in various stages of disrepair.
A real highlight today was riding over and stopping on the Bridge of Chains which spans the Mississippi. This is a mighty river and the iron bridge is a beautiful reminder of times past, and of course Route 66 which was on this bridge. We had the bridge to ourselves as only pedestrians and cyclists are allowed - plus motorcycle groups who have permission in advance. A real treat and is what we came to America to see.
My final treat today was to go to an axe throwing indoor centre to try out a local sport where they throw axes at a wooden wall. One of my riding companions, Malcolm from England, tried it out (with some success) at the Top Notch Axe place across the road from our hotel. In an Ireland versus England game I let our nation down by losing out to Malcolm who showed that the English are better at throwing axes than the Irish. This was the best fun and I hope to try it again.
We have a very long day in the saddle tomorrow, and I hope to be able to post again before collapsing into bed. The heat is really difficult to bear - it’s OK on the open road, but when we have to stop or slow down, it can be unbearable. We all arrive at our evening hotels soaked in sweat, but a cold beer from our tour Guides makes it all go away.
Final point - I had two lovely pints of Guinness at the Tigín Irish pub - who says that stout does not travel well! A great end to a great day. Some photos from the day....
|I Love America!|
|Stopping at Hamel for lunch.|
|On the Bridge of Chains over the Mississippi River.|
|In Springfield at Abraham Lincoln’s house.|
|Roma on the Old Paved Route 66.|
|Half buried Golfs at Rabbit Ranch.|
|Careful With That Axe!|