Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Piling on the states...

Missouri welcomed us with rolling hills, trees, and turns in the road: things you might take for granted until you've biked through Kansas. Initially, the hills were roller coaster-like, with the downhills providing almost enough momentum to get over the next crest and so on. But before long, we hit the Ozark mountains. The Ozarks aren't mountains like to Rockies or even the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Rather, they are a series of steep hills and depp ravines through which rivers run. They were beautiful. Below, you can se me posing with the Ozarks in the backgound before descending into Eminence, MO.

Eminence is a small tourist town known for its eclectic cowboy feel. For many, it is a country vacation heaven with the confluence of the Current and Jack Fork Rivers running through the town. We arrived later in the evening due to a long mileage day. Looking for a place to spend the night, we swung by the Riverside motel and cabins. They didn't have a room, but absolutely bent over backwards trying to find a place for us to stay. After calling everyone in town, they found the Maple Tree Inn B & B who was willing to help us out. It ended up that the Riverside Motel gave us $20 towards a room for the night and the Maple Tree Inn knocked $20 off the price of our room so that we only had to pay $10 for the night. Their help and unselfishness definitely did not go unnoticed. Thank you so much to the Riverside Motel and the Maple Tree Inn. You made our night so much better and left us with an extremely positive view of Eminence. After settling in at the Maple Tree, we had some amazing BBQ. Below is a picture of one of the tables at the BBQ joint in Eminence.

Eventually, we did have to leave Eminence and push on. After a few days of riding, we made it to the Mississippi and crossed into Illinois. It was bittersweet because, although Jeremiah and I are both excited about cominghome, I think I speak for both of us when I say that we had a phenomenal time in Missouri. The terrain and people definitely made our ride through the state enjoyable. Below is the Mississippi and our crossing into Illinois.

We crossed the Mississippi at Chester, IL. I never knew, but Chester is the home of Popeye. To celebrate, we made sure to order spinach on our subway lunches.

Statue of Popeye in Chester, IL

The states are smaller as you go east, so we spent only a day in Illinois before crossing into Indiana. Much of Illinois and Indiana were flat and we made great time. However, there are a few hills interspersed. Below, we cross into Indiana and Jeremiah poses by the Ohio river before climbing an Indiana hill. Incidentally, we were on Indiana route 62, a beautiful road that parallels interstate 64. If you have time and are going through Indiana, I'd highly recommend skipping the highway and taking this backroad (also called the Ohio River scenic byway).

After our longest day of riding yesterday (131 miles), we made it into Louisville, KY where we are staying with Jenn 's (my beautiful girlfriend) family. They have been extremely hospitable and I hear that Allie (aka the best pasta chef in kentucky) has baked us a mean lasagna dinner for tonight. Thanks Allie!!

Tomorrow we head out to the Cincinatti area. A rough itinerary for the rest of our journey is as follows.

8/9 Louisville to Cincinatti, OH

8/10 to Columbus, OH

8/11 to Millersburg, OH

8/12 to Andover, OH

8/13 to Warren, PA

8/14 to Mansfield, PA

8/15 REST

8/16 to Harford, PA

8/17 to Gardiner, NY

8/18 to Farmington, CT

Thanks for keeping up with us. See you in a week and a half.

All the best,

Jeremiah and Ben


Anonymous R.A. Herman said...

Hey Guys - Congratulations on great progress. Where will you be in Cincinnati? How can Greg Landsman get in touch with you? He is Jem;s cousin, and he lives in Cincy. Phone or send me an E-Mail about your Cincy plans.
We are proud of you !! G & G

9:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you guys need a free place to stay, call up my friend greg (ben, you met him from Taft and he lives in Cinn. now) at 203-525-6912.

F. Santoro

2:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing ther pace you guys are keeping. Be safe and keep on truckin'
mom and da Ristau

3:10 AM

Blogger Mr. H. said...

You guys look great and your pictures and stories are amazing. It's an adventure we all wish could take. Good luck with the rest of your ride.

7:46 AM

Anonymous R.A.Herman said...

Hi Jem and Ben - Happy to hear that you hooked up with Greg. Just talked with Bob Fuchs ( Archie Moore ). He has been busy with his new bistro in Derby. Said to have Kim call him again, he is ready to talk with her.
You guys are doing great - welcome to Pennsylvania! See you soon. G & G

4:26 PM


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