Well, the fee guy never showed up, so we got a freebie last night and headed out around eight thirty in the morning.
The winds were still on our faces as we headed South but I held out hope we could pull off a seventy mile day to end up at our friends’ house in St Louis.
We stopped in the town of Kemper, Illinois around 10am and took a break on the porch of their town hall. One of the locals drove up to us and offered us some beers and share at the table in his front lawn at a house overlooking the town on a hill. We declined as we wanted to keep moving. He drove back to his house and began wielding a chainsaw in the front lawn, so we might have made the right decision.
We pushed all morning with little break and reached Godfrey after heading though a rough patch of road construction with cars and trucks flying by pinching us to cement abutments. The flag and signal operator smiled and said,”watch out today, [the drivers] are ruthless.”
So after a half an hour of stressful navigation we pulled into the Beer Barrel pub where everyone happened to be very hung over from their Saturday night Halloween dance party the night before.
We asked about food and they said they didn’t have any but they were planning to grill some food for all the party victims from the night before.
We ordered some drinks and talked with the patrons while we recovered from the last five hours in the sun.
We had over thirty miles to go and it looked like we wouldn’t make it. The bartender suggested we just have a Sunday Funday, pitch the tent behind the bar, Eat some grilled meat, and relax for the rest of the day.
I really wanted to get to St Louis, but Esme was digging the idea of stopping here and now.
We ended up hanging out and having a few drinks and then getting permission from the roadside railroad workers to jump the construction, the railroad tracks and the oncoming train and get back on our way.
We met up with the river trail South of Alton, Illinois, and started looking for camping options just twenty miles from our friends’place.
We found the KOA and called them and $28.45 later we had a camp site with showers and electricity. $28.45 to camp… And that was the cheapest option. I quickly remembered why I’ve never stayed at a KOA in my life.
The campers next to us were a rented van full of Japanese students based on the language of the books on their dash.
We got a shower here, ate some food, and prepared for another windy day tomorrow.