On day 46, we rode 63 miles to the town of Cape Girardeau located on the banks of the Mississippi river. There we camped on a property owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Although the property contained some beautiful lakes, it was lacking a few modern conveniences, namely a shower. Although most of the time I am OK without a shower while camping (I went almost two weeks without one while backpacking in New Mexico last summer), it is a different story when I just biked 50 miles through the hot and humid Midwest. Desperate to clean off, we hopped in the bus and drove to the local hospital. Yeah, you heard me, the hospital. The hospital in this town happened to have a sports gym, along with a nice locker room. It worked out quite nicely, even if it was a little odd.
Later that evening, a scout troop came and cooked us a nice spaghetti dinner, giving us a nice day off from having to cook our own food. We went to bed early as per usual, and got up around 5 the next morning to begin our ride into Illinois.
Click below to watch a video of day 45.
Shortly after departing we reached the Mississippi river and the MO/IL border. The Mississippi definitely does not look like any of the rivers I am used to. Even so far north it is extremely wide. It almost looks like a bay instead of a river. I never would have guessed that the first time I crossed the Mississippi would be on a bicycle!
From the Mississippi, we proceeded to ride through southern Illinois until we reached the Ohio River and the city of Metropolis where we were going to spend the next two nights. We were greeted at our KOA campsite in Metropolis by BSA Troop 1. Established in 1911, Troop 1 is the oldest scout troop east of the Mississippi. A few the Troop 1 scouts camped with us during our day off in Metropolis and cooked us 5 incredible dutch oven meals, making our rest day even more restful. They cooked us the best dutch oven pizza I have ever had!
The next morning the mayor of Metropolis came to our campsite to greet us. The town’s claim to fame is that it is the hometown of Superman, and they are very proud of that history. Metropolis has its own Superman museum, complete with a huge Superman statue. In honor of this unique heritage, the Mayor gave us all Superman t-shirts as a souvenir from our visit to this super-city.
Overall, it was a wonderful and relaxing rest day and hopefully it has refueled us enough so we can push on.