Jailbreaks and Blocked Roads

Farmington, Missouri to Carbondale, IL

95 miles
By Dean Broz

 

Each day presents it's own set of challenges... 

Each day presents it's own set of challenges... 

Farmington, Missouri to Carbondale, IL

95 miles
By Dean Broz

 

The crew started the day with a two minute forced history lesson from Mr. Broz about the building in which we were staying.  In 1932 the downstairs (where our bikes spent the night) served as a jail  and the upstairs (where we spent the night) served as living quarters for the sheriff and his family.   In the Jailbreak of 1932, 31 prisoners huddled in the back of their cell as nine sticks of dynamite were used to blow a hole in the north wall. Five prisoners fled and were later recaptured, one was shot and another was shot and killed while climbing a fence that surrounded the jail.  I thought it especially interesting that in the aftermath the steel window weighing 14 pounds was found two blocks away on top of the high school -- the boys not so much.

Today also brought a number of landmark events:
* Crossing the Mississippi.
* Entering the state of Illinois.
* 3,000 miles on the odometer.

After a few more departing hill climbs, we descended onto the Mississippi River flood plain.  It was welcomingly flat terrain.  It also seemed to take the air temperature up a notch.  Ed tells me the dewpoint is so high that our sweat won't evaporate.

Apparently the convenience stores of yesterday were a luxury, as today they lie 25 miles or so apart.  The boys tell me this is more typical. To escape the heat convenience store drinks and air conditioning are sought after.  The boys are happy to sit down on the convenience store floor.

On the Illinois side we chose to ride the alternate route taking the levee for its flatness.  Initially railroad construction seemed to block the way, but the workmen let us through when it was safe.

 

Crossing the tracks, safely. 

Crossing the tracks, safely. 

After 27 miles with no services, water bottles are dry and we are happy to see the Bottoms Up Family Restaurant and Bar.  We eat a late lunch here and head on to Carbondale.  Arriving late in the afternoon leaves Ed few options for finding a free place to stay and camping  is not allowed in the city limit, so we stay at the Super 8, which has a $50 cyclist rate for a room.  It's pretty nice.