I woke up with Déjà Vu this morning - lots of thunder and rain again. We started getting ready slowly and ate breakfast. Just like yesterday, the rain stopped before we were ready to hit the road. How lucky are we? It was bit chilly, but I went with just my mesh. My wife decided to wear her rain gear for the first hour or so.
The ride this morning was pretty boring. The Great River Road on the west side was mostly US-61 which is a four lane slab of concrete that is entirely to straight and flat. We turned off to follow the route into Montrose, but soon found the road closed. We briefly followed the detour, but it turned into a muddy, gravel road. To play it safe, I turned around and we went back on to US-61 which is where the route would have taken us anyways.
We crossed into Missouri today. This is the first new state I’ve ridden in for 2010!
Pictures on the side of the road were a bit interesting. More than once I found quite a lip on between the road and the shoulder making the bike want to tip over each time it was crossed.
After Keokuk, IA, we tried to follow the route again, but again, it was detoured. This happened a couple more times. One of the detours away from 79 was an amazing twisty road with lots of hills. We both really enjoyed it. It also rejoined US-61 and then back to the twisties. That is until we found this sign:
We eventually found Louisiana, MO after passing near Mexico, MO. Louisiana was founded in the 1800s and has over twenty murals in their downtown area.
We didn’t manage to find them all, but we did enjoy the ones we did find. My favorite part of this city was the old buildings.
The city is also right on the Mississippi River which meant that it was slightly cooler than the roads surrounding it. The recorded temp was 103F!!
This is my new highest temp. It was pretty incredible. I will say that the hotter it got today, the better the mesh seemed to work. Even though it felt like I was riding into an oven, it was comfortable. We stopped frequently to drink water and take shelter in the gas station AC.
The first half of the ride north of Hannibal, MO was boring and I hope the IL side would be more interesting. Hannibal was worth the stop as it was the boyhood home of Mark Twain. We road up a very steep hill to look at a lighthouse. We also briefly looked at the boyhood home from a distance. It looked interesting. Walking around in the 95F+ wasn’t fun, so we pushed on.
We made it to the suburbs of St. Louis by dinner time and met up with Bash3r who very graciously offered us his popup camper for the night. Thank you Bash3r!! He suggested we ride Hwy P from Hwy M. What a great set of roads. These two were some of the best riding we had all day! It was great to finally meet him after corresponding for so many months. He also has a WR250R and we have been copying each other’s farkles all year. He also just got back from a 2,000 mile ride in Idaho!
Strangely, we made it 216 miles again today (same as yesterday – actually 215.9 both days!). We did alright in the heat today, but I hope the route is shady tomorrow.
- Great River Ride – The Plan
- Great River Ride – The Bike Prep
- Great River Ride – Day 1 – To Park Rapids, MN
- Great River Ride – Day 2 – The Mississippi Headwaters
- Great River Ride – Day 3 – Leaving Minnesota
- Great River Ride – Day 4 – Iowa
- Great River Ride – Day 5 – Into Missouri
- Great River Ride – Day 6 – Five States in One Day
- Great River Ride – Day 7 – Memphis and Mississippi
- Great River Ride – Day 8 – Louisiana
- Great River Ride – Day 9 – Rain and the Gulf
- Great River Ride – Day 10 – Mobile & Pensacola
- Great River Ride – Day 11 – To Birmingham
- Great River Ride – Day 12 – Sweet Tea and Sweetwater
- Great River Ride – Day 13 – Cherohala Dragons
- Great River Ride – Day 14 – In Threes
- Great River Ride – Day 15 – OH-555 and AMA Museum
- Great River Ride – Day 16 – US-30
- Great River Ride – Day 17 – Leaving Indiana
- Great River Ride – Day 18 – Chicago and Sojourner
- Great River Ride – Day 19 – Madison to Minneapolis
- Great River Ride – Reflections