Day 5: Jubalee College State Park to Havana, Illinois

Day 5: Jubalee College State Park to Havana, Illinois

We woke in there night to thunder claps and bright flashes of lightning. 

The rain had started about the time we’d gone to bed but having looked at the forecast we’d covered everything we wanted to keep dry with the 6′ x 8′ tarpaulin sheet we’d been carrying. In hind sight, we really needed an 8 x 10 or 10x 12 sheet. 

When there was a break in the storm we jumped out of the tent and hurried to make breakfast and pack everything back onto the bikes. 

The rain came and went every few minutes with the occasional boom of thunder and repeated strikes of lightning to the North and West of us. 

After hurriedly packing in the fifty degree soggy weather we headed South and East to the free or cheap camp site almost fifty miles away. 

The cold, damp of Fall was catching up to us and we needed to complete some big mile days or risk being stuck in weeks for rainy, near freezing temperatures. 

At one point during the day the GPS routed us down “Mud Road” for a few miles. 

Traveling Mud Road in Central Illinois

Tonight’s and tomorrow’s forecasts called for just above freezing cold at night, so because of the weather and the fact it was Esme’s birthday tomorrow we opted to get a motel room when we reached Havana for $43. 

We stopped by a bar along the way about three pm and had a tenderloin sandwich about the size of my head and a basket of chili cheese fries for $6. 

The bar was the closest thing the North had to a honky-tonk with everybody, including the husband and wife owners, drunk mid afternoon on a weekday. Esme really like the place when she realized that people were smoking indoors regardless of the law. So we ate a great meal and I washed it down with a couple beers before we rode another series of hills into the Wildlife and Wetland preservation area. Which was basically a causeway between bits of land along the Mississippi River. 

At the Sycamore Motor Lodge the owner gave us a “deal” of a larger room for two nights for $90, so we took that instead and planned to enjoy a day drying out in a warm hotel room. 

… tomorrow is our day off!

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