Awesome, Girlfriend - Pontiac - 7/30/2006

We woke up early today to make up for the miles lost from yesterday's derailleur mishap.  Also, the temperature is supposed to be hotter than hot.  We had to re-do the 7 miles we lost from last night.  Here we are re-visiting the scene of the crime.

Hungry from the lack of breakfast food in our reserves, we stopped at a convience store where there was absolutely nothing I'd like to put in my body.  Luckily the cashier told us there was a breakfast place just down the street a few blocks.  Phew.  Although I knew this, I still had to get a bear claw donut to fill the void in my stomach for a few minutes.  A little bit more, we got to the diner where I ordered, you guess it, steak and eggs and pancakes.  Breakfast of champions!

It was so f'in hot today.  Even at 9:30am, it was a scorcher.  We've started a new habit of stopping at any/all convenience stores along the way to get a cold beverage and a respite.  Dave and I would just share a 32 ounce of Gatorade poured over 2 cups of ice.  It's nice to get a break from the heat with some convenience store air conditioning.  We stopped at a Casey's General Store in Cullum, Illinois where we hung out with the cashier for a bit because it was just too damn hot outside.  We asked some locals if they had a hose they could just spray us down with.  They told us about a lawn mower party (racing lawn mowers?) where there will be plenty of ice/water/drinks.  I'm so there.  We chatted with another lady about where the grocery store is and she said miles away.  She asked what we wanted and I replied fruits and veggies.  It's strange but it's so hard to get good fruits and veggies out here in the heartland.  She felt our pain and wanted to welcome us to Cullum so she went out to her stash of groceries and shared some strawberries, bananas and cherry tomatoes with us.  How nice!  Here's a picture of the cashier and the fruit lady.

Not wanting to get out into the heat, we talked to a man about directions who told us about taking Route 66 to St. Louis.  What a plan.  We hadn't planned on it, but sounds good to me.  Again, beating the system, instead of taking the A-squared to Iowa and then the B-squared to St. Louis, might as well just do the C-squared directly to St. Louis.  We'd lose the security blanket of staying on the Adventure Cycling maps and knowing exactly what each small town has to offer/not offer.  But, we'd gain the shorter distance and quicker time to get to St. Louis.  Additionally, we'd get to travel on the historical Route 66.

When we finally left Casey's General Store, we went a block or two from the store where "you can't miss it" and we didn't find the block party.  Where could it have gone?  I know it was legitimate because all the customers were buying beer for it and talking about it.  Oh well, no spray down for us and more intense heat...

At one point on the road, this lady, the passenger of a pick up truck, sticks her head out the window and shouts, "Awesome, Girlfriend!", followed by woo's.  How fun.  I guess she knew what I was doing.

We finally made it to our destination city, Pontiac, Illinois.  We actually arrived kind of early (3:00pm-ish).  After another cold beverage, we rode around town finding the camp ground for the night as well as a place to eat dinner and the grocery store.  After the scouting ride, we went to a local pool at the community center.  There, for the admission price determination, they asked Dave and me if were married.  I really don't see why it matters.  So I said, "do you want us to be?"  "Are you married or not?"  "Which is cheaper?"  "Are you married?"  "No."  So dammit, the cost of admission for non-married/family is $4 as opposed to the discounted $3 each.  So I'm being punished for being single.  Really fair.  Whether you're married or not, you're still using the same amount of pool water, right?  Sheeit.  Next time, we're staying we're 1/2 brothers and sisters.  Family and being married is much more valued (and apparently discounted) in the heartland than two friends.

For dinner, we had an excellent Italian meal where I had the best spaghetti and meatballs ever.  Unfortunately, I agreed to have dinner family style with Dave and he ordered just an average plate of tortolini.

Afterward, we went to the campsite where it was still humid as ever.  After taking a shower, I felt like I still needed to take another shower.  I hid in the restroom for a while to make phone calls while avoiding the outside bugs.  Eventually, I had to go to sleep.  Try to go to sleep that is.  It was so damn hot, even at night.  It took me a while, but I eventually fell asleep in a pool of my own sweat.  Okay, it wasn't that gross, but it was pretty unbearable.