Warm Weather Continues
June 13 – Day 11 Springfield, IL to Staunton, IL. 68 miles – Total Miles – 584
Weather: Sunny, 94 degrees and winds calm or light head wind
Springfield is a beautiful city and we headed out early to try to miss rush hour traffic – which we did. I am not sure they have much of a rush hour it seemed like a sleepy little town. We bicycled right past the capital building – very nice and a cool statute of Abraham Lincoln out front. As we pedaled past the capital all I could think of was the extreme financial problems Illinois is having. They have not passed a budget in several years and it sounds like some major changes will need to come about. They have already closed several of their state parks and one of our Warm Shower hosts was telling us they may have to close the public school their children attend. Very sad hopefully the governor and legislatures can work together to benefit the residents of the state.
We stopped at Starbucks for breakfast and as we were waiting in line to order a gentleman came into the restaurant and asked if he could take a picture of our bicycle to put up on his website/blog that features cross country bicyclists. We said sure and handed him our card and told him we were posting to Facebook and Blogging about our trip. He said great, left to take the picture and talk with his buddy. He came back a few minutes later and asked if he could join us at our table. He did and we found out he was a former law enforcement officer and law enforcement instructor at the local college. His friend also knew Peter because he was the instructor in a bicycling class he took in Milwaukee many years ago. Too funny it is a small world.
The beginning part of the ride was on the Interurban Trail that took us about ten miles to Chatham. The trail was well maintained and easy to ride. After Chatham we mainly bicycled on Route 66- it is pretty cool because the cities have now started posting what year the piece of highway was built – today we traveled on many miles of roadway built between 1930 – 40. Most of the roads are in good shape, although we had some sections today that were in poor shape – the road shook us up good!!
Some of the roadway sections still have the older road adjacent to the road we are traveling on, although these sections are in very bad shape and unusable. But in several cities they are actually renovating the sections and building bicycle paths. We heard the state would like to construct a bicycle path along their entire section of Route 66. They already have a good start on it and we say several areas of construction. We just wonder where the money is coming from for the projects – probably federal multi – modal dollars or possible earmarked money specifically for Route 66 projects.
After another hot day on the bicycle we were glad to get in a bit early and recuperate a bit. We stopped at Dairy Queen before we got to our hotel for the night and Tracy had a malt that she had been craving all day. It definitely took care of the craving and will probably hold her for the rest of the trip!!
Attached are a few pictures from the last few days.