Mattoon to Effingham

Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Monday, October 22, 2012

Today we scheduled a short ride because yesterday was so difficult.  We left the Hampton Inn in Mattoon around 11 am for what would be a 35 mile/3.5-4 hour day, and what a difference a day makes.  We were hitting record speeds between 13 and 15 mph, Larry calls it flying down US45;  I guess it was flying when you throw in all of our previous averages!  It was also cloudy with distant lightning but no rain was forecasted and the winds were to be moderate until about 4:30-5 pm.  At the pace we were going we estimated our arrival to be before 2 pm with plenty of time to do, you guessed it, mapping, laundry and dinner, oh and blogging!   Our first encounter was an hour into the ride when we pulled over to get a drink and no sooner a guy named Dan in an suv with 2 bikes on the back pulled up and said he spotted our loaded bikes and turned around to inquire.  After a few minutes the ominous-looking un-forecasted sky seemed to be closing in on us.  With little alarm, we hurried off.  A light mist started around noon, nothing to warrant a stop to don a raincoat, not to mention one of us was already wearing one!  By noon-thirty the rain picked up so we decided to stop at 'Patty Cakes' Cafe in the town of Neoga (pop.1600), the sort of cafe that everyone should visit more than once in their life.  Three gentleman and one lady sitting together, farmers and not, saw us ride up.  Larry was shirt-soaked, and when we entered, a woman whose name we later learned was Sue, with her husband Joe, held up her cell phone with the radar view of the rain and lightning that just passed over us. We opted for a quick bite and hot apple cider.  While waiting for our order, I worked on de-bugging Larry's eye as if... we were in a doctor's office!  Of course the story got told that Larry's glasses went by the wayside back in Joliet while changing the flat tire.  Sue & Joe left, we ate, Larry went out to get something from his bike, came back in with a pair of safety glasses that he said Joe fetched from home!  Thank you Joe & Sue, they became very necessary later that day.  Soon after, a farmer named Dennis walked up with intrigue regarding our loaded bikes and mentioned he got rained out in the fields today.  In the meantime, I was inside ordering yet-to-be-made-and-tasted fudge from Patty to send to my Dad, a fudge-maker in his own right!. The rain slowed so we took off for Effingham.  Soon we were at a much slower speed of about 9 mph because of the wet roads and the wind picked up!  No worries, only an hour and half to go.  Oh, but the more we peddled the more it rained, and this time it was harder and with closer lightning and louder thunder!   We became drenched and came upon the town of Sigel none too soon, spotted a cafe (what we now call our safehavens!) and sought refuge in the foyer of Krampe's Cafe.  We had an obligatory beer, asked for a mop to clean up the puddles we left on the floor and no sooner did the rain stop.  Yet again we leave for Effingham!  Now into the late afternoon, traffic had picked up; after ten miles we had enough of that, so we turned off of US45 (oh, did we mention the 4 to 8 in shoulder?!) ahead of our mapping and took a few short back roads to the Country Inn & Suites nestled off of I70/57 & SR32/33.  Arrival time:  3:12:29 pm.  Not too bad.  Wait til you see how we trashed the room, I mean dried our gear in the room.  (see fotos)
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nycke on

Wow! What a day! I thought it seemed exciting, but Seth just fell asleep in my lap while reading this aloud to him!

apairofpollys on

What a coincidence,... I just bought little Sethy a book today!

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