Day 21 - Cave in rock, IL to Goreville, IL - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

June 2, 2021

Day 21 - Cave in rock, IL to Goreville, IL



We slept well in our over priced abode and I was reluctant to leave the bed. Mallory decided to pack up early and leave. She planned on meeting back up with us at the church tonight. The rest of us plan on stopping in goreville at a church there. Since it's raining all day, we are hoping for another indoor accomodation.

Storm clouds
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I called ahead and the church contact said everything should be fine. This would put us in close range of Carbondale, IL. Carbondale has been in our dreams since mid Kentucky. Finally we can buy nice groceries and visit a bike shop and outdoor store to restock. We might stay a night there just to get our fill before descending into rural America again. Just to put it in perspective, Carbondale has a population of 25k, and most of the towns are sub 200. The last "big" town was Berea at 15k and it didn't even have a bike shop. We got to eddyville around noon without too much rainfall and stopped at a random country restaurant for lunch. Everything was meat so we ordered a salad and fries... Too bad. We got back on the road to on and off rain and big rolling hills. These were steep and relentless. We passed an exploded clothes bag, which is a good mine for touring cyclists; we try to find suitable roadside rags for chain cleaning/lubing. I picked a spaghetti strap top for it's absorbent feeling and Mary found a cottony plaid button down. My butt and legs were killing me but we pushed on. At least the weather was improving as we got closer to goreville.

Rolling hills of Illinois (land of Lincoln)
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We passed a sign for a trail of years heritage corridor. It said something about driving the trail of tears. It seemed pretty insensitive to us and Mark said "yeah, drive along in your air conditioned Jeep Grand Cherokee". We laughed at how ridiculous it was. We made it to town around 3 and Mallory was already the goreville united Methodist church as well as two other bicycle tourists, Connor and Greg. Connor is also vegan and made a big chili for everyone. We all cleaned our bikes and re lubed our chains since the rain really made everything grimey. The contact for the church, Jake, is a big roadie and loves bikes. He stuck around for a long time talking bikes and showing us his carbon road bike. It was kinda interesting to talk to someone who loves road bikes and washes them regularly. It seems like the bicycle tourist is more like a long haul trucker. Your bike becomes more like a tool for the job. Your bike becomes so dirty but you just have to accept it. We found a spot to sleep in the mini chapel and passed out. We were glad to meet even more people. A short 27 mile day to Carbondale is going to be sweet. Can't wait to do some shopping and eating.

The sleep chapel
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The church basement
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Altitude gain:4800

Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 1,121 miles (1,804 km)

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