I’ll keep this short ’cause I’m exhausted and my phone nearly is too.

I slept at the Valley View campground just outside of Quincy, IL last night. It was another relatively short day (54 miles, I think). I’d planned to go a little further to score some more free municipal camping, but the stretch from Louisiana to Hannibal involved a whole lot of climbing, so I was ready to stop. I also had my first warm shower of the trip while I was there.

Today, I continued into the promised flatland of IL and IA. What’s more, I had the wind at my back for a lot of it. Now, 105 miles later, I am at the Cappy Russel (Iowa) River Access in Oakville, IA. My map listed the grounds as ‘primitive’, and they are: just a flat stretch of mud–some of it wet, some of it dry– on the edge of the Iowa River. Nothing else but a whole bunch of bugs and a persistent low hum from the mysterious food plant I passed on my way in.

Okay, I need to be going to bed, but it occurs to me that I’ve not yet answered, on this blog, the question I get asked at least a dozen times each day: where ya headin?

The short answer I give is: Maine. This is more or less true. I intend to reach Maine, and maybe a few points after and inbetween too. Just kinda depends on time, money, and inclination. I just found out yesterday that I have to be back in Columbia for Jumpstart stuff the first week of August. This is earlier than I expected, so a trip all the way down the coast (after reaching Maine) or a full circuit trip (down coast to DC, then ride back way I went to DC last year), is no longer feasible. I could still come down to DC and catch a train back, but an appealing alternative has presented itself.

It had slipped my mind that my dad would be RVing in Maine this summer. Then, on Sunday night it popped into my head. So I called dad. It turns out he’s planning to stay in Maine until July 6. I should definitely be up there by then, so I could hitch a ride back and save on train fair (not to mention the hassle/cost of boxing up the bike and shipping some things back ahead of me).

I did the math last night, and at 50 miles a day, it would take 35 days to reach Bar Harbor. At 60 miles, it takes 30. At 80 miles, 23.

There you have it. All my wiggle room laid out on the table. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to bed.


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