Flora to Fairfield

Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, October 25, 2012

The story today is wind, wind, and wind, and did I say wind?! A sustained wind of 20 mph with gusts of 40 mph. We rode 26.95 miles and took 3 hours, 26 minutes to do it. We were on the bikes for 5 hours 58 minutes, might as well say 6 hours. We left Flora at about 10:30 am and at 11:26 we were ready for lunch. Left over pizza on a bridge over Raccoon Creek, we can't make this stuff up. We had only gone about 10 miles but it seemed and felt like 30. At about 12:45 we struggled into the town of Cisne (pop. 672), relieved at the temporary windbreak. Even though we had just eaten lunch an hour and a quarter ago, Boondocks called to one and then the other of us! I had already driven past and Larry yelled, "Hey Devon, look.". I did, and immediately put on the brakes followed by a u-turn! It was the only restaurant in town that we could see and was surely loaded with local flavor. The advertised 'Special' for $7 was a Pork steak with two sides, in this case beans and peaches, and a $5 fish tail sandwich with potato salad and slaw, was served. When we ride up on bicycles with loaded panniers curious people approach us and ask questions. An older woman sitting on the far side of the room came over to our table to see what we were "up to". Before leaving we took a picture of the restaurant with a regular, Chuck who was also a relative of the owner and a few of the other customers; even the toddler that sat next to us was his great, great grand nephew! He walked out with us to enjoy a cup of coffee on the front porch.
We left the the restaurant and rode about only 4 miles and pulled over for water in front of a shop that sold western clothing and saddles. Devon thought this was a little blessing, her slim chance to get more horse liniment, a therapeutic gel for sore muscles, which they didn't have any. The owner, Rochelle, had several questions for us and she also looked on her computer for lodging for us after our next stop. None was found. We left the saddle shop for the remaining 6 miles to the Briarwood Inn in Fairfield, Illinois.
A redeeming factor on these rough and windy days is riding by the farms, because we love when the cows and horses take notice of us, the look, the stare. Usually some stroll over to the fence to study us as we ride by; we suspect they spot our bright red or yellow bags.
When we're on state roads we ride single file so we really don't, or can't interact, but near the end of the today's trip when Route 45 turned from going South to going towards the East, we both gave each other the thumbs up from our first rush of relief! Much to our relief the Briarwood Inn was soon in front of us and as with everywhere we stop is filled with friendly, curious people. But today, while riding, I couldn't help thinking that if I were 40 years younger I would have made the 96 miles to Cave-In-Rock, no matter the weather with the wind!
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Marilyn on

Loving your bolging. I feel like I'm right there with you.

Love ya :)

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