In an effort to beat the heat, we woke up at the crack of dawn and were out by 6:30am. Even at 6:30am, the wind was already strong.
Here's a picture of the prairie (minus the little house). Illinois is the prairie state, by the way.
Around high noon, we arrived in Springfield, Illinois, home of all things Abraham Lincoln. We went into the museum to escape from the deadly heat. They had a lot about slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation and his death. The museum was okay. I find Ford's Theater in Washington, DC more exciting – probably because actual history took place there whereas with this museum, it was just replicas (and a few originals) of history.
When we were done with the museum, we went next door to the Lincoln Presidential Library for some internet time. The sign on the computer says "15 minutes only". Although no one was waiting to use the computers, Dave and I were reminded by a mean librarian that Internet time is limited to 15 minutes only. I don't get it. If someone was waiting, I'd understand and give up my seat. But no one was waiting so what does it matter? It's not like it's costing them additional electricity or anything.
So, off into the heat we went again to find the city public library. There, we had 30 minutes each but at least that's because people are waiting. If you haven't used the Internet at a public library lately, this is how it goes. You ask a librarian to use the Internet. S/he gives you an access number. You sign on a computer and a clock starts ticking away. When it gets down to 5 minutes, an annoying pop up message comes up and you have to click okay. When the next minute passes, another annoying message comes up and you have to click okay; and so on. When this happens, I'm rushing to finish the last bit of work. And, my friends, this is how I update my website while on the road (and family computers when we're with a host family).
After going grocery shopping, we headed out for more riding in the still hot day at 5:30pm. It was a little scary on the road today. As part of Route 66, sometimes we are instructed to use Interstate 55 until a certain exit. Sometimes it was just one exit away. Other times, it was a few exits down the interstate. This is most scary when you have to stay on the highway while cars are trying to exit. This requires us having to somehow (very fast) cross a lane of traffic that is trying to exit. Of course the cars don't wait for us to cross that one lane - they like to zip ahead of you and cut you off while you're desperately trying to get out of their way.
Coming out of the convenience store on one of our hydration/air conditioning/rest breaks, I found Dave's underwear on my ghetto rack. I shrieked in disgust. I immediately made him take it off of my bike. I don't get it - what would possess one to put one's underwear on someone else's bike? That is so gross! Eew!
Past dusk, we made it to a motel off of Route 66. As Dave was checking in, I immediately went to the restaurant to order a bunch of food for us before they closed. Soup, spaghetti and ribs. Spaghetti was fine but ribs were less than desirable. When I think of ribs, I think of slow and low in the oven, not boiled with BBQ sauce dumped on it. Regardless, the food was good since I wasn't in the mood to cook after a long hot day of riding.