Northern Tier 2010

August 14, 2010

Goodbye Mississippi

Filed under: Illinois, Iowa, Section 08 — Henry Scott @ 8:00 pm

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make! I slept incredibly well at the Muscatine Super 8, and my mindset was completely different this morning. I was eager to get back on the bike, and after taking full advantage of the continental breakfast, I was on the road by 6:00 a.m. I crossed the Mississippi for the last time and entered Illinois.

In addition to the benefit of good rest, the terrain today was very gentle, and more importantly, the winds were light — even a tailwind in the morning. I covered 78 miles before stopping for lunch in Kewanee. Along the way I was caught by two recreational cyclists from Muscatine heading out for a breakfast ride. I really enjoyed talking with them for a few miles, and I was tempted to join them for breakfast when it was time for them to turn off, but I decided keep going with the tailwind.

I ultimately made it to Henry, IL — about the midpoint of Illinois on this route, for a total of 122 miles. Due to the early start I had plenty of time to get a shower and go out for dinner. I was tempted to go another ten miles for the day, but I felt obliged to stay in a city with which I share a name.

Henry is right on the Illinois river, and the free public-park camping (for cyclists only) is near a popular boat launch, complete with a restaurant / bar. I ate alone but eventually got into a long, and very fun, conversation with Jason and Scott from Peroria. They entered a hard-fought rock-paper-scissors battle for the “honor” of who could buy the cross-country cyclist a beer. Jason was happy to be in the picture, but for reasons he can’t explain will never look directly at the camera.

It was awfully tempting to stay later with them, and the free beers were clearly going to keep coming, but I’m shooting for another long ride tomorrow and want to get an early start. I’d like to get near the IL / IN border because that would get me within a long day’s ride of South Bend. It is another sweaty night in the tent, but I hear that tomorrow will finally bring relief from the incredible humidity we’ve been experiencing. For the love of God, please let that be true!



  1. I think we found Super 8’s new national ad campaign. No one can appreciate a Super 8 room like someone who has been sleeping in a tent for a month. I am glad you indulged yourself after finding the map. A good night’s sleep in a bed was well deserved.

    Comment by Erika — August 15, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  2. Hey! I know the Applebee’s and the Super 8. That is a busy stretch of road there. Glad you enjoyed some AC and a real bed. Once every 5 weeks is surely nothing to balk at. I may have to take a lesson from Jason and stop looking at cameras when I have my picture taken: it may solve the wild-eyed look I tend to do . . . Hoping to see you upon your arrival in The Bend!

    Comment by Bruce — August 15, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

  3. I’ve got caught up reading most all of your previous blogs. I initially saw the article about your trip in the South Bend Tribune. Boy am I jealous. You are taking advantage of a great opportunity that not everyone gets. If you need a stopping point, etc. in Lafayette, IN. (trip to visit family) send me a reply. We” see what we can do. Best of luck the rest of the way.

    Comment by Mike Thoma — August 16, 2010 @ 3:13 am

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