Day Twenty-Two Recap: Into Illinois

Jesse Tyler

After a bit of a late night with our new friends, we “slept in” until about 9:30AM. We made for ourselves the usual breakfast; instant oatmeal with peanut butter and honey, plus some coffee on the side.

Our first stop was a post office in Putnamville, Ohio. Dakota’s mom had baked us some treats and we had picked this small town post office for her to have it sent to. We had anticipated staying in Putnamville that night, but couldn’t find a place to stay there, so we rode north to Greencastle. It would be an 8 mile ride to the post office. When we checked their hours before leaving our campsite, we realized we only had about 45 minutes to get there before the took a one and a half hour lunch break.

We got on our bikes and rushed to the address we had given. When we got there, we were surprised to see a small beat up church. We asked a local and found out that there was no post office in Putnamville. The one we had sent our package to had been closed for five years now. Our box of fresh baked treats was on its way back to Missouri 🙁

A bit frustrated and certainly disappointed, we got back on our bikes and headed towards Terra Haute, where we would eat lunch. We rode a pretty eventless 35 miles to get to our destination: Popeye’s. We had initially been planning to eat a buffet lunch to celebrate our recent 1,000 mile landmark, but we weren’t quite hungry enough to justify the large meal and G.O.’s parents had offered to treat us to a Popeye’s meal the next time we wanted.

G.O. is a Popeye’s connoisseur. He had worked there for some time and is quite the expert. As we enjoyed a delicious meal, he told us stories of his time working there and of the yummy creations crew members would make for their own enjoyment, like cinnamon butter biscuits!

After our filling meal, we rode down the street to an Aldi to get groceries. It was our first time shopping there while on the tour and we marveled at how cheap all the food was. It’s funny to think about how excited I got about saving twenty cents on a can of chicken. That’s what bike touring will do to you though!

We finally got back on the saddles and had about twenty more miles to get to our campsite. We had contacted a church in Marshall, IL and they gave us permission to stay in the backyard of their new property, an old Walmart building.

In our first five miles after lunch, we rode through a bit of rain and some ominous skies. Fortunately it subsided after a short while. As the sun began to set, we crossed the border into Illinois and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset for our last ten miles. This was the most beautiful sunset we had seen on our trip so far. It’s amazing how something like this can completely shift the riding experience from work to pleasure.

When we arrived at our camping location we were joined by our new Canadian friends once again. We ate our dinners, chatted and laughed for a while, and then head to bed.

This day had its ups and downs. There was the frustration of misdirection and wasted riding, the monotony of boring highway miles, and the liberating joy of riding through a scene that seemed to be a work of art. When you piece it all together, you get a very accurate portrayal of what this tour is like as a whole. It’s a full range of emotions and experiences, highs and lows, all packed into one ultimately gratifying trip.

Next stop: Effingham, IL

Showing 3 comments
  • Wayne
    Reply

    As I sit here tonight reading all of you blogs, I red them all in one night, I cannot help but notice how God has placed those special people in your path. Not only to be a help and blessing for you guys but also for you all to be a blessing to them.
    This is really good reading and I have truly enjoyed “going’ on this trip with all 3 of you. I really think you should consider, after all this is done, to sit down and put all your blog letters into some kind of book.
    I will be praying for all of you. God bless you guys!

  • Micki
    Reply

    I’ve found in my real life that there are wonderful people everywhere, but many people are too busy, too bound in their own ways to notice.
    I love this blog. To find a sunset gratifying and heartwarming shows the amazing souls you three
    have! We so often get complacent and miss the amazing humans in our world, the lovely sunsets, and the world God created for us.

  • Joan
    Reply

    I just caught up on your daily blog writings. I missed a few days for some reason. You guys are doing so good and God continues to be faithful to you.
    I see a book in the making guys!
    Godspeed!

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