Carbondale

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An easy and enjoyable ride today, along the Mississippi… That I never saw 🙂

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The TransAm trail sometimes offers alternative routes. There’s one from Chester to Murphysboro that’s going through the hills, and the other one follows the levees along the river. It’s easier, flatter, and I thought I would enjoy sights of the river. Riding along the Mississippi ! I’m immediately thinking of “Tom Sawyer, c’est l’Amérique”, steamboats, and so on ! The choice was easy !

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But no, the river is hidden all the way by a thick line of trees. I actually got one glimpse near the start, where the barges unload coal unto trucks. Oh and a bit later, where coal is loaded unto trains 🙂 As for trucks, there’s a whole lot along the route, up until it splits on the levee itself. This is a long road keeping fields of corn and something else (Potato ? Tobacco ?) from being flooded.

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It was a very nice ride, on a flat road (first since Kansas), with no vehicle of any sort. It was still early morning, and with a good speed the warmth was not getting to me anyway. Kilometers were piling up quickly, which is good for motivation ! And there was a lot of snails on the road, which is a Frenchman’s dream ! Walking snacks !

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But all good things come to an end and I was back on an inland route to the next city. A quick burst of forest, some ups and down and I was in Murphysboro. There I awarded myself with the usual ice cold orange Gatorade, which has replaced coke advantageously.

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At this point it was either follow the official route through the fields or follow the highway. As it was much shorter and closer, I chose the latter. Plus it was leading me directly to my stop. I would have plenty of fields and hills on tomorrow. Yeah I was still in shape to keep going but what would be the point ?

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I finished another map, number 3 of the 6 TransAm maps I have on my trail. Celebration ! I had a banana split for the occasion, a treat I had way too often when I was a kid, and that didn’t help my waistline :p

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