Moving South and Warming Up
October 5, 2015. Day 32
Ste. Genevieve, MO to Cape Girardeau, MO. miles 82 Total Miles 2,027
Weather 65 degrees, partly sunny, tailwind
We had breakfast at the hotel and then headed into to town to check out downtown Ste. Genevieve It was a beautiful downtown area and had lots of historic homes, shops, restaurants etc. Of course most everything was closed as we rolled through early in the morning but it also allowed us to really take our time and check everything out – I will try to post the video of the area if my connection will allow it. As we left town we saw the Bolduc House Museum/Bolduc Home and the related homes – cool to see homes built in the late 1700 and early 1800 in the French Colonial style. Ste. Genevieve is a definite stop for anyone interested in history and national registered homes.
After leaving town we once again were traveling on Hwy 61 all the way to the Town of Fruitland, MO – 48 miles down the road. We then got on Hwy 177 which was a beautiful road with lots of small hills and the entrance to the Trail of Tears State Park. The park is a memorial to the Cherokee Indians who lost their lives during a forced relocation during the winter of 1838-39. The park headquarters had a great interpretive display explaining what happened and also a very well done movie which we enjoyed with our lunch. So sad to think the United States Government required relocation from their lands even though the Supreme Court said it was their land legally and they could not be forced to leave it The President at the time Andrew Jackson decide to ignore the Supreme Court ruling and order the military to move the Cherokees off.
Definitely a beautiful park – with a campground and lots of trails to enjoy right on the Mississippi River, unfortunately we did not spend the night in the park timing just did not work out.
So on to Cape Girardeau for the last 20 miles of our day we went Our first priority upon reaching the city was to check out the murals on the floodwalls in downtown. They were beautiful and we took some video which I will attach if possible. The downtown area is also very nice and we enjoyed checking it out – but all to soon had to head out of town to the bicycle shop to get some repairs done on the bike. It needed a new chain and other miscellaneous repairs. So up the hill and out of town to sprawl land we went. We got to Cycle Werx and the guys were great and fixed us right up. While we were waiting for the bicycle to get done, Tracy decided to try calling the Warm Showers Host we had sent an email to asking here to host us that night. We had not received a response but she had her phone number on the site so Tracy though she would give her a call. When Tracy reached Judy she was like absolutely come and stay and apologized for not responding and said she just got back from visiting her daughter. Of course Judy lived in the downtown area and we had to travel from sprawl land to downtown again – oh well!!
Judy was a great host and lives in her grandmothers 1904 home – it is a beautiful home which she continues to work on to return to its true splendor. Just before our visit she received her National Register of Historic Places Certificate and now has her home registered. She was having the place painted when we were there and has done lots of work on the inside of the home. Her dog Ginger and her were very welcoming hosts – she even did our laundry for us and we enjoyed talking with her about bicycling – she had been a avid bicyclists and has bicycled on all the continents. She also rode Bike Centennial in 1976 – the ride was the first of its kind traveling across the United States and stated the Adventure Cycling Association which has resulted in all the routes and maps they now provide to hundreds of bicyclists. Really cool.
It was a nice way to end the day.
October 6, 2015 – Day 33
Cape Girardeau, MO. to East Prairie, MO – 50 miles – Total Miles 2,077
Weather 80 degrees, sunny and tail wind
We got up to a very nice breakfast prepared by Judy our Warm Showers host- we had scrambled eggs with cheese, thinly sliced beef with fired mushrooms, potatoes with onions, grits, toast and of course tea and coffee. Boy were we full when we took off. Judy also gave us a much better route to get out of town and we got to our first stop in record time with very few hills with great roads and very little traffic – it always helps to have local Intel!! Judy being a seasoned bicyclist gave us a great route. We ended up in Charleston, MO 40 miles later and upon recommendation form a local had lunch at the Boomtown Restaurant – a very interesting place connected to a grocery store and department type store. The owner of the complex was great and allowed us to wheel our bicycle right in to the front entry way of the mall. We then had an amazing lunch- cat fish, beans, spinach, corn bread and cheese potatoes – everything was sod good!!
With full bellies we climbed back onto the bicycle and continued to our ending community of East Prairie. We are really having a hard time finding somewhere to stay – there are very few campgrounds and even hotel are few and far between. We are staying at a small motel – Grace Inn which is right on the highway outside of East Prairie – the room is clean and you can tell well taken care of. Not a bad place for the night.