Day 35: Sebree to Elizabethtown, IL

This morning, Crispin and I woke up at 4:45 AM. Crispin made some coffee for the both of us and we packed up everything soon after. I put in $20 in an envelope as a donation from both of us. We didn’t ride back into town to get breakfast. Instead, we rode ahead before the sunrise.

Storm clouds welcoming our day

The weather forecast predicted scattered thunderstorms. As soon as we left the church it started to drizzle. We rode in the rain to Dixon, but didn’t see a restaurant or a convenience store. After a short water break we kept going.

Paying tribute to the war heroes in Dixon

The road was mostly flat. I enjoyed looking at the magnificent landscape. The rain had stopped for a little while, but then started up again. We arrived at Jeri’s Cafe in the town of Clay just in time before the downpour. If we had arrived 30 seconds later we would have been drenched. I ordered a meat lover’s omelette and it was the best omelette I’ve had on this trip thus far.

Made it to Jeri's just in time to avoid the storm

By the time we left Jeri’s the rain became a drizzle again. We easily rode another 20 miles or so to Marion. I had ordered a pair of cycling gloves a few days ago on Amazon.com and had it shipped to the post office here. The timing was just right. The gloves came in this morning and we arrived at 10:30 AM.

Out with the old, in with the new

Crispin and I wanted to eat lunch at Tony’s Main Street Italian Grill, but they weren’t open until 11 AM. We spent some time at the convenience store across the street then sat in front of the restaurant waiting for them to open. I had a house salad and a Cajun chicken Alfredo pasta. It was the best pasta I’ve had so far. I felt pretty lucky that today’s food has been great.

Best pasta I've had so far

We had planned to stay in Marion, but looking at the time, we can go further. We can definitely cross the Ohio River by ferry to Illinois and maybe stay in Elizabethtown for the night. The weather is also nice now the rain has stopped, so we rode on.

At the port by the river, we waited for the ferry and chatted with a guy in a pickup truck, who is also waiting to cross the river. He told us to check out the cave in the town Cave-In-Rock that’s directly across the river from us. Since Crispin and I missed the detour to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky we decided to check out this cave.

Crossing the Ohio River

It took us awhile to find it, but there were people giving us directions. The cave wasn’t that big but still impressive. It was also a nice break from riding our bikes.

The cave in Cave-In-Rock

After seeing the cave, we stopped at the local restaurant for some ice cream and cobbler before we started riding again to Elizabethtown. We rode through what seemed to me like a forest. We stopped at a house where there was a sign that said “bicycle rest stop.” Crispin decided to talk to the resident there. An older lady came out and told us her son-in-law’s parents passed away here and they were avid cyclists, and that was the reason for the rest stop. Moments later, the son-in-law drove in and told us he’s trying to make it so cyclists can get more comfortable here with better accommodations. What a great idea! We need more places like this.

We rode into Elizabethtown just before it started to rain again. We really got lucky today by missing out on two storms. In the local restaurant, we ordered some food and inquired the waitress about any lodging opportunities, especially camping. When Crispin was outside he had a chance to talk to the sheriff, who allowed us to camp in a nearby grassy field. Crispin wanted to check out the Rose Hotel and see if the price is right. In the end, it wasn’t. We ended up pitching our tents on the grassy field.

Our campsite, overlooking the Ohio River

We had a second dinner at the E-town River Restaurant that’s close to our campsite and is on a barge on the river. I had a BBQ sandwich this time. The sun will set in two hours and we didn’t want to sleep yet, so we checked out the convenience store in town. They actually have WiFi and will open at 4:30 AM tomorrow. Crispin and I decided to write our blog posts here. Once we’re done we will go back to the campsite and call it a day. We did well today. Rode over 64 miles. Unfortunately, my bike computer stopped working again for about 20 miles.

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