On Tuesday morning, after four long days killing time in the Franklin Motel 6, we checked out and raced over to the Gray Goat bike shop to await delivery of Bill’s replacement rim. The rim arrived and Brandon, the mechanic, quickly got to work on it. By 2:30, the deed was done. Thank you, Brandon! We headed out to the Johnson County Fairgrounds Campground for the night, happy to be back on the road. We were reminded of the Willie Nelson song On the Road Again.
“On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”
The weather was good, and we had a couple of nice campsites and cycling days. Near the end of our time in Indiana, we camped at a county park east of Terre Haute. After riding the four miles into town, eating and doing our laundry, we checked the weather and received the tough news. A tornado warning and storms with tennis ball sized hail were forecasted. We quickly rode back to camp just as the rain, thunder, and lightning started. Sirens were blaring, warning of the imminent threat. Having no shelter other than our tents, we decided to wait it out in the campground bathhouse. Interestingly, all the campsites we’ve stayed in recently have a designated storm shelter, often the bathhouse or laundry room. That’s a statement! Fortunately, the storm passed quickly, with no hail or tornados, and we got on with our night. The next morning, we broke camp early and crossed the border into Illinois. We’ve made it to the Central time zone!
Our first night in Illinois was in the town of Casey whose slogan is Small Town Big Things — home to the world’s largest rocking chair, wind chimes, pencil and golf tee, among others. They also had the nosiest Campground of our trip to date; it was a quarter mile from the interstate with incessant truck traffic all night. To add insult to injury, there was a bright streetlight directly over our tents, making it tough to recognize daylight as it arrived.
We couldn’t wait to get out of that campground – until we got on the road and discovered that we were riding into a 20-30 mph headwind! It was exhausting and slow going. Much of the time, we struggled to maintain 6 mph, and that’s with no hills! I was not feeling well, so we decided to get a room in Effingham and have our bikes checked at the local bike shop. Surprisingly, my chain that was new at the start of the trip already needed to be replaced. The strong 30 mph headwinds continued the following day. Some days are easier than others; it’s all part of the package.