May 11th, Day 1: We got up bright and early and expected to eat a quick breakfast and be on the road...Well when 3:30 came around, we finally were all loaded up and ready to go
DepartureThings actually started out pretty smoothly, after a quick load adjustment around the corner (around the corner because that was at least out of sight of the house and the farthest I thought I could let the rather awful rubbing noise continue.) we were on our way. From Webster we biked through Ladue and after a little turning around we ended up on the Creve Coure bike trail and biked over the Missouri River with the end goal being to get to highway 79. We got so close to not having any mishaps, but alas...following along highway 70 on the frontage road we see the exit coming for highway 79. Three miles , two miles, and then our frontage road turns away from the highway and goes through this little town, over the train tracks and to an intersection... hmmm. But suddenly to the rescue on the road directly in front of us
It started off ok, a little bit wet, but standable. Then the 2nd puddle, a little longer and a little deeper, and then, as far as the eye could see, water. But what choice did we have? Already wet and going the "right" way we decided to push on, I mean that giant truck got through how bad could it be? Lets just surmise to say that things did not improve as we tried to move our water logged bikes and trailer through the flood water. I finally stopped at a half submerged mailbox, trying to hold on to it and keep both feet out of the water my legs screaming like I had just swum miles. Meanwhile Mike is way back lugging the trailer which is creating a wake behind him. It was about now that I realized that he hadn't been yelling for me to slow down for him to keep up but because he had a stick stuck in his derailleur. So he had to step off his bike and reach his hands into the murk to free himself to keep going on. As he's trying to free the bike he looked behind him and the trailer was actually floating. By the time he catches up to me, we still can't see the end of the water. This is when we decide to re-consult the map. Ooops, Highway C is definitely part of the MRT the problem is that it's the part that goes back to the arch. So all that for nothing. We turned around and rode about 3 miles back through the flood water to that oh so famous intersection, and went the other way and sure enough there was 79.
May 12th Day 2: After convincing the campground host that we really shouldn't have to pay the $15 to stay there we were back on the road again.
May 13th Day 3:
Ready to ride
Not tempting our good luck we got up and out of Hannibal fairly early and rode over the Mississippi on a very nice bike lane, yay. After fiddling around in Illinois for a while trying to determine what street was what we made our way to highway 57 and Quincy IL as the sky got darker and darker. Just as we got into the outskirts of Quincy it started sprinkling. We found ourselves a McDonalds and settled in for a couple of hours as the storm raged. We had timed it perfectly and left the bikes under an overhang, so we and most of our stuff stayed fairly dry. Once the storm passed we were back out (glad to be on the Illinois side since we were hearing about tornadoes on the Missouri side) and suddenly the going got much easier- we had a glorious tail wind.
We saw a neat covered bridge with a chocolate river along the way
At some point we stopped at a gas station and bought hot dogs, since we know we were headed to a camp fire that night.