Monday, May 31, 2010

Cycle 30 Miles North on Tunnel Hill State Trail

Sunday, May 9, I'm up at 7:15 to a low of 45 degrees! The high only gets to 65. First thing this morning I file 50 postcards and finish going through the mail. Then I take some time to organize all of my Cape Girardeau pictures. And I sure have a bunch from our week there for the big wedding. While we have breakfast and do our morning stretching, bill next door walks down the road and pays for another day.

Around noon we go to Goreville to discover Delaney's on Broadway is closed for Mother's Day. Fortunately "Old Home Place" is open. There is a huge crowd waiting for big tables. We got a table for two quickly.

The side salads are fresh but small for $2.29. We get our drinks free as our order was delayed. I have Lemon Pepper Tilapia and Bob has the Pulled Pork with two sides each; BBQ Baked Beans (I love it when we are far enough north to get out of boring pinto bean country), carrots, green beans and cheese hash browns.

Reet comes through Tunnel Hill in the lead!

We go home to load up the bikes as we decide it is warm enough-but barely! We get to Tunnel Hill trailhead by 2:20. There is a crowd there and some, like us, are just setting out. All of them are going south. We go south, but just through the tunnel one more time for a photo op, then we turn around and go north through New Burnside, Stonefort and not quite to Carrier Mills. New Burnside was named for Civil War General Ambrose Burnside who encouraged the construction of the Cairo-Vincennes Railroad to transport coal from southern Illinois mines. The town was home to over 1200 people by 1878. Over the years, as its mine and the railroad declined, the population decreased.

Bob's Cyclepath rests at Mile 200 Marker

At mile 15 we turn around for a total of 30 miles in four hours. We see a snake, lizards, a cat, a kitten and a deer. There are not too many people on the northern portion of the Trail. One cyclist comes by at our first break on the trestle going south. We see a couple of walkers and joggers near New Burnside. The Trail is not as well used or as compacted this way so the cycling is much more strenuous. Our legs are killing us. We take a break every one to two miles on the way back. Of course it is uphill mostly on the way back towards Tunnel Hill.

From the top of the trestle we can see two fish in the water by a log

Two ladies in the middle of the Trail with two big German Shepherds not on a leash cause us a tense moment. We're done by 6:30 with our bikes in the carport. We have welcome showers and leftovers. It's 8:05 p.m. and 58 degrees with 36% humidity.

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