Day 41: Thursday, June 5th

Carbondale, IL to Chester, IL

We got a photo of the great staff at the Best Western before leaving in the morning.

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We were stopped to read our map in Murphysboro when a couple touring across America rolled up behind us.  Becky and Keith are also heading West.

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There are two route options from Murphysboro IL to Chester IL, a northern and a southern that follows the Mississippi River and is flatter.  We chose the latter.

Our older map did not list a food stop along this stretch, but one did exist.  The Bottoms Up Bar and Grill was excellent.  It was at perfect timing because we were hungry and ready to eat. The food was delicious.

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Shortly after leaving the restaurant, we got our first view of the Mississippi River!

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We then got out to the main road into Chester, our last stretch. We must have hit the road on a bad day as it was LOADED with coal trucks that we’re going at a high rate of speed.

We were only a couple miles from town when two coal trucks passed Linda, the second a little to close for comfort. Linda let out a scream in frustration and took off as fast as she could toward the shoulder up ahead and pulled over.  Linda told Phil she would not go another mile on this road and we’d have to get a ride.

However, we noticed an alternate route into Chester.  Ironically, this other route was labeled as the truck by-pass but few trucks were turning on to it.  As our luck would have it, once we turned onto the road, a coal truck pulled onto the road as well. Linda thought she would go insane.

The alternate road along the river was actually very nice and much more enjoyable.  We just had to then zig zag through town to the bike hostel which was all up hill. It was the hardest miles of the day and Linda’s nerves were shot.

When we finally got to the hostel at the Eagles Club, we met up with Becky and Keith and other touring cyclists they had been riding with.  Lisa and Melinda showed up later so we had a full house.  There was a total of ten cyclists at the hostel.

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We all relaxed and ate on the deck at the Eagles Club while watching the volleyball league play.

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