Safely Out Of St Louis

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Tomahawk Campground

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It is difficult to assess the risks when we are planning our route. Having negotiated cities like Mumbai, Saigon and Los Angeles we feel that if you follow certain measures, you are unlikely to find yourself in the wrong part of town.  However, St Louis was a different ball game.  Listed as USAs most dangerous city last year, we were nervous and having talked to many locals it seemed that East St Louis is a 'no-go zone'.  Needing to cycle East, this posed a problem.  After much research yesterday driven by nervous energy, we decided on a route North along the Mississippi and then turning east when we were far enough away from the ganglands.

It worked out very well, even finding a bike path which took us over The Mississippi on McKinley Bridge.  This dropped us on a pretty busy road which delivered us safely out of the city.  From there we turned east and after 20 miles we were once again surrounded by beautiful farmland.

We had crossed the state line coming over the bridge and felt a sense of relief after a few days of unhappy cycling in Missouri.  Illinois is our 8th state and the roads and people have both been on our side thus far.

When we arrived at Tomahawk Campground the owner rubbed it in by saying that we are only 36 miles from downtown St Louis.  Our computers read 51 miles cycled but it was well worth putting in the extra to avoid any tense encounters.  The shaded site is perfect for the night.  Gerry and Carol have been friendly to the point of annoying the hell out of us.  They have made us lemonade and promised us a ride on their golf cart later to check out the rest of the site.  I am actually hoping they will not appear from their trailer again tonight and give us some peace! A few too many beers on their holiday have made them incredibly repetitive and fixated in helping us.

A very good ride today and it feels like twisting our way out of St Louis was a major hurdle cleared.  We make it 1000 miles to New York, 20 days cycling ahead of us now.

Later on…no I was wrong.  Jerry did come back and this time had the great idea that we should sleep in his caravan with him and his wife.  I think it is a just a friendly offer but we quite strongly reassured him that we are fine in our tent.  He is still here going on and on.  Polly is currently trying to maintain her politeness but he is pushing it now. 

Miles Cycled; 51 and we are back in the fields
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