Monday 11th June 2012
Day 23, Marion to Dixon springs

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Long hot day as always, ended up in a prison camp!
Length - 19min 07
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Start time: 7.44
Start location: Marion
Start State: Kentucky
Start weather: warm
Total millage so far: 1183.06

Finish time: 13.30
Finish location: Dixon springs
Finish State: Illinois
Finish weather: overcast
Miles today: 48.81
Total millage so far: 1231.87
Today's top speed: 38.5
Today's average speed: 13.3

Music played:

Blog for the day (Tuesday, 12 June 2012):
Main things which happened today, well, we crossed into Illinois by the ferry, that was kinda exciting. Mike came and visited in the evening, oh, and I nearly got arrested. More on that later! Warm early start today which was good, no need for coats which we normally have to wear in the mornings just to stay warm. It was kinda muggy, but alright. Pretty scenery again and a few nice old towns to stop off at. The roads were in pretty good shape but hilly, rolling hills I guess. A bit like parts of the A303 back to London. The ferry, we waited for the girls so we could cross together, we got speaking to some local farmer types which was pretty fun. They also thought the girls were slightly bonkers too. When we told them about the aggressive dogs, they said just get a pistol and shoot them, so maybe that is next on my shopping list! Cool. The ferry was fun and we crossed over the boarder into our third, but shortest state. The town on the other side was sweet. We met up with some other transam’ers, one of them had actually been bitten by one of the Kentucky dogs! Can I get a Glock at Walmart?

Lovely downhills as soon as we got into Illinois, but that soon changed into some tough climbs, a bit like Ditching beacon again, but shorter. No problems there. We got into Elizabeth town which was great, another really old place with old shops. This was one of the places on my list from other blogs because of the amazing catfish served down on the riverfront. Only problem with it is that it doesn’t open till 11am and we were an hour early. A real shitter as everyone raves about it. Wish I had waited now. There was a long ride/trek to the next big town though, lots of nasty headwinds and long straight roads, plus hills. Not much fun at all, kinda hated it like yesterday. So we got to the town, I forget what it was called. There was a murial on one of the walls telling the story of how one of the Indian tribes was pushed out from their homeland on what was to be known as the trail of tears. It was pretty nasty what happened to the people who's country this was and if they could see how the people who came and conquered these lands have done to it now, I think it would break their hearts. Riding the roads with tons of junk food litter and garbage dumped about on what must have been perfect, beautiful lands. So, we ended up in this bikers bar, I can just imagine what it must be like in there on a Saturday night, bar stools being thrown through windows, chains swirling around peoples heads. It was a full on fight bar! The two rough women eating their lunch at the bar gave some of our girls filthy looks when they came in. I would not have messed with them or the women serving behind the bar! Anyway, we got our food and a beer which was ok. I headed out and looked around the small town, pretty in places. I like these old quiet places.

Again we headed out onto long, straight boring roads with hills. I wasn’t too sure if I was on the right track, if I had missed the turning for the camp site or not. So innocently I see what looks like a camp entrance, there were people walking around with nice orange jackets on, and a couple of STOP signs with lots of writing about No Entry I guess, too small and seemingly unimportant to read. I mean, if it was a restricted area there would be a gate across the entrance right? So Englishman abroad, I cycle in white listening to my music, young guys in orange outfits walking together. They must be cleaners or something. I approach them with my best English accent I could muster and ask for directions. They kinda look at me funny, say nothing, and point over the way to where a large group of young guys are sitting down, also wearing these orange jackets. Odd I think, but this is America and I’ve seen some pretty crazy things so far. So I cycle further in and one guy in black comes out a building pretty quick, and then another comes from nowhere from my left. Ah good, someone who can help with directions. Again, with my best accent as I fear something is not quite as it should be, I ask where the camp ground is. They take a bit of time to answer, looking at me I guess with WTF are you doing here kinda look on their faces. Me smiling away on my wee trip across America. I begin to realise that something is slightly wrong. I look at their outfits, oh they are police or something, with handcuffs, oh and guns too. This is interesting. I start to realise where I am and that I probably shouldn’t be there in this camp! I look down at their guns and at their badges and give the facial impression oh “Oh shit, I better be leaving” look. They informed me where the camp was and I do a 180 and toodle off out of there as they look and say something about my GoProp on the front of my bike with big red recording lights blinking all over it. Still, I had my Union Jack sticker on the back of my bag, I’m sure that will protect me. My imagination gets the better of me and I wonder if they will come back in the dead of night and do one of their rendition plans to Cuba. Never been, but I understand camping in Cuba is very pretty this time of year.

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