Friday, June 29, 2001

29 June 2001
Ranchester

ps.. Arbagast was the Insurance Investigator sent out to track down Janet Leigh and the missing thousands of dollars she had with her when she disappeared at the Bates Motel...

Arbagast also ended up in the swamp..

Friday 29 June
Ranchester, Wyoming

Wyoming is another state that is big on rodeos.. the state championships are coming up soon, and the state symbol on all the licence number plates is a bucking bronco.. I'm not sure how rodeos operate - whether there is a premier league etc.. but I do know that the local team here, Ranchester United, are doing very well.. lots of fans too, including some who have never been near Ranchester...

Ranchester, ah, dry Ranchester, is an extremely arid place.. they say that if you can see the mountains it means it's not going to rain.. and if you can't see the mountains it's already not raining.

OK.. tomorrow I set off into Montana, across the Crow Indian Reservation.. The Crow nation have not officially concluded a peace treaty with the United States and are apparently quite hostile to white people..As this will be the last posting this week and before the weekend, it might be a good idea to phone Arbagast and put him on standby.. you never know..

I followed the waggon train out of Buffalo this morning.. they were making slower progress than me in the headwind.. they were heading up to Fort Phil Kearney for the night a distance of about 20 miles I guess.. but mostly up the hill side.. anyway I wish them all good luck and happy trails..

more anon..
Friday 29 June
and as if by magic.. but actually leg power.. I'm in Ranchester, WY

thanks to Marti and Marcia and colleagues at Sheridan Library and to Karen at Ranchester library..

but just a couple of thoughts about US Libraries.. I've found them to be completely helpful and friendly and eager to help this crazy enterprise of writing about the observations and experiences as I cross from corner to corner of the States..
and only one library so far, in all the countless many, asked me to join before I could log on...

BUT.. there is an interesting paradox abpout where US cities and town planners place their public buildings like libraries..have I mentioned before that many many libraries are way out of town and nowhere that anyone could walk to..

but let's not single out libraries.. no-one walks anywhere in America.. there is never anyone on the sidewalk.. and because everyone drives to wherever they need to get to, it doesn't matter where any public or commercial building is located.. it also partly explains why there is not a town centre, or city square.. a focal point to any community..

but imagine a society where no-one meets anyone else just by chance on the street.. where everyone is cocooned in their private space and private thoughts as they drive along.. where no chance encounters happen in the open, and people meet mostly in places where all parties have driven there..

hey ho .. just an observation.

Friday 29 June
Sheridan, Wyoming

Did I mention that Gillette is the methane producing capital of the world? business is booming according to the local paper.. an unfortunate way of putting it I thought.. hope it doesn't boom too frequently..
and it did boom like crazy Wednesday night as thunderstorm number 15 poured and crashed overhead and over tent..

On then to Buffalo - where the obligatory joke was tried several timmes with varying success and understanding..
What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
You can't wash your hands in a buffalo...

But for the first time on this trip I arrived in a town where there was a big celebration going on.. the Bozeman Trail was being re-enacted and there was a waggon train in town.. fantastic

Today 100 head of cattle are being driven up to the mountain pastures from a ranch on Crazy Woman Creek.. ranches out here have names like Lazy Y and Tumbling T..

Saw the Rockies for the first time yesterday.. they are big and snow capped and now form a constant travelling companion over in the west..

Suffering a lot of mossie irritation today.. the trick is to let them lock on long enough to swat, but before they draw blood.. and then to let them have it quick and hard.. It has to hurt to be sure that the swat gets the blighter..

Wyoming motor bike law.. worth a mention.. headlights must be on.. no riding side by side.. handlebars must be below shoulder height... that puts paid to the revival of Easy Rider then. .the thought also occurred.. If Peter Fonda was Captain America does this mean that I am Captain Britain?

more anon

Oh a special mention to Brad, Cindy and Holly.. relocating from Alaska to Texas.. and we worry in Briatin about the north south divide.. good luck you guys..

more anon





Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Wednesday 27 June

Actually I'm in Gillette, Wyoming.. see following post

Arrived in Gillette at 4.00pm - had a shave..

came to the library to update the website - had another shave..

This has been the toughest day of the ride so far by many a mile.. the headwind over the past 70 miles has been remorseless.. and I'm tired, slightly irritable.. slightly itchy from the hundreds of mossies last night, and encrusted with salt from the wind drying..

a couple of wobbly moments this morning.. ran over a rattlesnake.. luckily it was not a live rattlesnake.. but the crunchiness did give me a bit of a stir.. and a biting insect flew up the leg of my shorts and pronged a sensitive place..

the Deveil's Tower is an amazing piece of nature.. you can see why it has atrracted the myths and legends of numerous peoples over the ages and Steven Spielberg too..

a special mention and thanks for their company to Richard from Switzerland and Rosemary from Greenock last night.. we shared a misery of mossies..Wyoming is the 9th largest state in the unionand is big countr.. the wind blows across the plains and ranges with a ferce keenness..

and it looks like we could be heading for another storm tonight
Wyoming became a state in 1890.. the mosqitos joined the union shortly after that..

Wednesday 27 June

I'm writing this from inside the Alien Mothership.. last night was the strangest of the trip so far.. alongside me are the crew of the Marie Celeste, and Tory voters.. all lost in the mysteries that have baffled historians until now..

I don't know what strange force impelled me to go to the Devil's Tower in eastern Wyoming.. was it the prosepect of another discount at the KAO campsite? was it the opportunity to study the life cycle of the mosquito in intimate detail? who can say.. all I know is that the bicycle seemed to propel under its own power towards the strange and mysterious Devil's Tower..
Later as dark fell lights appeared in the sky.. and a strange musical sound was heard.. the mother ship descended in a blaze of lights and stage music.. and then it lifted me into the nights sky..

we are now hovering over South West London, or Wimpleton, as the americans call it, we are currently watching the plucky Brits battle through to the third round..

hey ho..

do any of the crew of the Marie Celeste want to say anything?

sadly no..

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Tuesday 26 June 2001
Sundance Wyoming

Yes this is Wyoming - cue Music to the Big Country...

and this my 12th state so far on this adventure across the States..
and jolly fine number 12 is too.

So before further ado, special thanks and good wishes to George, Donnina and Nathan for sharing their fire with me last night and their delightful company..
and to the excellent Barbara, Robyn and Megan at the Sundance Wy, Visitor Information Centre.. and yes rest areas do need refreshment facilities - memo to Governor Jim Geringer..

been zinging along today.. the wind has been at my back for most of the morning and I'm on track to get to Devil's Tower this evening.. the campsite there plays Close Encounters every night.. cue spooky plinky music..

Wyoming has wide open spaces and interesting rock formations.. looks like it could be worth a longer stay.. I'll have to plan a route from here with some care, as the tract of land between here and the rockies in both Wyoming and Montana is pretty desolate with not much apart from grass and scrub..

more anon

Monday, June 25, 2001

25 June 2001

Deadwood South Dakota

58 miles we cycled today - so Whip crack away etc..

and today is the 125th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn - aka Custer's Last Stand.. when the 7 th Cavalry was defeated by the combined forces of the Cheyanne and Sioux nations under the leadership of Sitting Bull..

So this is Deadwood.. looking for Dorsi Day..

it has been a tough day with temparatures again in the high nineties following a couple of days when it touched 100.. and the hills are up and down _ surprisingly.. I reckon I have climbed 10,000 feet over the past couple of days.. and descended nearly as far.. Deadwood is at an altitude of 4,300..

So last night was Mt Rushmore.. an extraordinary experience as America celebrated the defining values as represented by the four presidents carved into the granite.. there was much celebration of freedom and democracy and the notion of nationhood as defined by the history of the 120 years as spanned by Washington to Theo Roosevelt..

and a strange experience being a brit there.. not least because it was the revolution that we feared that broke the states away.. and the celebration of overt and explicit patriotism is a concept a little alien to us.. we Brits are rather more reserved about our expression of national values.. not so America.. and as an observation from a guest in your country.. and therefore with repsect and affection.. there is a danger that America claims some of the concepts of freedom and democracy on behalf of the rest of the world..

add Mountain Goat and Buffalo (at last) to the list of wildlife snuck up on...

and Miss Prairie Plains won the Miss South Dakota beauty pageant.. for those of you eager for the result.. and she now goes forward with all out hopes and best wishes to the final of Miss America in Atlanta..

so now to explore Deadwood.. looking carefully for Boot Hill, Wild Bill, Clamaity Jane.. and the rest of the gang - including the man the sheriff watches (on his gun there's more than 27 notches..)

and a note in a gas station back along the road..

a man with a gun is a citizen.. a man without a gun is a subject..

hey ho

Friday, June 22, 2001

Friday 22 June
Chadron, Nebraska

Indian Country, and just south of the Black Hills of South Dakota.. take me back to the Blackills.. etc thank you Doris Day..

well the ride across the desolate sandhills of Nebraska where only prairie dogs survive was not too bad.. so hold on the Arbagast - I got through.. last night in Alliance at the noisiest campsite in the world.. next to the second biggest rail marshalling yard in the world.. where they must also dump huge amounts of coal on to corrugated metal just for the sake of it at 3.00am..

encountered my first serious hills today.. up to 5,000 feet.. and so far no ill effects..

the Pine Ridge of North Nebraska gives you the first glance at the hills above the prairies and the plains.. pine covered with Ponderosa Pines..

all these evocative names.. Ponderosa.. wasn't that the name of the Cartwright ranch?

isn't there a joke about Big Hoss? along the lines of Big Hoss you're mine?

Car henge - is exactly what it says on the tin.. a henge made out of cars.. now it would be tempting to say it is a monument to the most sacred icon in America.. the car.. so I will.. it is a monument to the most important facet of american life..

I'm in another library that no-one could walk to.. you never see anyone walking on the streets.. and the streets rarely have sidewalks or pavements to speak of..

every town therefore ends up looking the same.. there is no centre.. why bother to group civic buildings together when everyone goes by car? so the only grouping of business that occurs in town planning.. is that all the Motels are located along the main roads and crossings.. these then attract all the food brands like Macs, Pizza Hut, Hardees, Arby's, Taco Bell, Subway.. they are all there and all the same in every town in every state..

of the main drag, there are some older stores and services.. barbers, suppliers of machinery, superlubes etc.. but it won't be long before even these are taken over as franchised brands.. US Barbie.. gear to go.. superlube-us..

Mars is closer now than it has been for 13 years.. look out for it in the southern skies.. it is something we share even though I'm seeing it 8 hours after you..

Thursday, June 21, 2001

Thursday 21 June

Alliance, Nebraska

I'm in the pan handle of Nebraska.. cutting through the sandhills up towards the Black Hills of South Dakota.. hope to be there by the weekend..

more signs.. did I mention the Motel called Crammalot Inn? and if you are having trouble wth Prairie Dogs - who are you gonna send for? Why Dog gone services of course..
On the side of another motel.. families are like fudge.. mostly sweet, a few nuts..

and speaking of families I think we are about to welcome my Mum and Dad to the internet community.. so hurrah and welcome..

callled in at another local newspaper this morning.. man bikes into town is hitting the front pages of Nebraska county ewspapers..

Oh, and this is real cowboy country.. a chap came into the restaurant.. The Wildman Bar andf Grill - wearing spurs.. and a mention to Christie at the restaurant who rides the range from time to time..

as does Bambi who works part time at the gas station in Broadwater.. and rides and rodeos out in the Nebrasdkan ranges..

Alliance has a feature just outside of town called Carhenge.. so I'll check it out.. it is based on Stonehenge ..but hey built out of cars...

funny world eh..

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Wednesday 20 June
Oshkosh,Nebraska
tomorrow is the first day of summer

hey and the other amazing news is that there is a bike rider from Nottingham called David Wragg - who is just a day ahead of me.. I discovered he had stayed at the campsite in Gothenburg the night before me..

if anyone knows David Wragg and he has a hotmail address put him in touch with the website or my hotmail address.. it would be good to try and catch up.. though I understand that he is biking the Oregan Trail.. I don't know where of when he started.

cheers Dave

Wednesday 20 June
Oshkosh, Nebraska

So this is Oshkosh. and special thanks to the library here, who are running a children's reading day around me as I update the travel log... and thanks to the Garden County News for the interview and the photo.. and to the very pleasant retired couple who conversed with me over lunch..

Oshkosh - and not a children's clothees shop in town (the other one is in Wisconsin apparently)..
last night was at Lake Ogallala (say it - ogallala) and the night was just on the chillside of comfortable.. and of course, imperceptibly I have now climbed to 3,500 feet above sea level..
met two guys, Matt and Eric, who were on the road from Seattle to Carolina - they had covered 1850 miles to the point that we met... so I guess that's the distance left - 1850...

hey ho..

I've also crossed into another time zone - I'm now 8 hours behind you in England in Mountain Time...

ok - here are some recent signs..
outside a shop - BEER, AMMO, TACKLE, LIVE BAIT - well that's the essential of life taken care of then..
outside Oshkosh - Two Cool Museums
outside a Motel - the Crammalot Inn (true honestly)..

The redwinged blackbirds have stopped attacking me.. and the meadowlarks are still a delight..
The engineers on the trains have been waving and ringing their bell.. which is a nice inclusive thing to do... the trains pass every 7 minutes and are over 100 wagons long.. some are longer than a mile in length..

so this is definitely cattle ranching country - the hats are now decidedly cowboy..and the range is decidedly home..

and the front page news out here is that the leader in the bare back riding rodeo league is from Oklahoma - much to the chagrin of all good Nebraskans rooting for their boy - Go Big Red..

heading west into the desolate area of West Nebraska tomorrow - send an Arbagast if I don't update the travel log in five days..

Monday, June 18, 2001

Monday 18 June
Gothenburg Nebraska

but the great news is that Dan Sloan - from the greatest coffee shop in the world, the Mill Cafe in Lincoln Nebraska - has done some magic with the photos I left with him..

there are now some photos - just a selection - on one of the links..

thanks Dan... drink and relax at the Mill Cafe in Lincoln everyone.
Monday 18 June
start of week 7
Gothenburg, Nebraska

we have just had 2 days of 100 degrees.. and the wind has been in the face too.. so it has been a hard couple of days to get this far.. but the good news is that I have officially passed halfway.. just outside Kearney is a sign which says 1733.. miles from each coast - actually it is 1733 miles from both Boston and San Fransisco. but that is good enough for me..
though amazing to think I have as much to do again.. and mostly uphill.. Miami and Florida feel like a dream to me now.. so we looked at the scenery, she read her magazine etc... (Paul Simon for those of you looking for the reference)

Nebraska is full of corn - never mind corny as Kansas in August - besides Kansas has gone about as far as it can go- Nebraska is corn capital of the world..
come on you huskers..

the history of the westward expansion is fascinating but made little of out here.. every ten miles or so you see a sign for another town established ten years after the one you just passed through - I'm up to about 1870.. but the truth is that all recent developments in towns have been about getting the brands and franchises into the main drags and malls and plazas.. a bit depressing in lots of ways as the real reasons that towns were established gets lost..

bird hazard - as I ride along I get shepherded and shadowed by red-winged blackbirds that usher me out of their territory and into the next.. it's a bit like being shown off the premises.. anyway today they have become even more agressive and started harrassing me and dive bombing my hat.. luckily I was wearing it at the time..

Saturday, June 16, 2001

Saturday

Lincoln is a great city.. people who live there say it is a great place to live but not to visit.. well I've found that places that are good to live in are also great to visit.

and Nebraska is a fine state.. so as Don at the Texaco garage in Seward says.. and gave me a pencil top to illustrate the point - Go Big Red..

the Cornhuskers rule OK..
Saturday 16 June

Ok, let's hear it for Dan at the Mill Cafe in Lincoln, Nebraska.. who serves up the best coffee anywhere this side of the rockies.. now I would have said that even if Dan had been the most unpleasant proprietor in history.. the fact that he is also an incredibly nice and generous man is beside the point.. the coffee is great..

Dan may have solved some of the photograph problem.. he may even be working on it now..

if so thnks, Dan and I'll keep everyone posted about the selection of nice images that we did manage to download onto Dan's office computer.. don't tell his co-partners..
Seward 16 June

pschaw.. just lost a load of other news.. I biked past the scene of the tornado that hit Seward County the other niight.. I've never seen destruction like it.. piles of rubble where someone used to live and the line of bricks that were their foundations.. heaps of farm machinery that were all mashed and mangled.. it was half a mile wide and just cleaned everything in its path like a hoover..

Saturday 16 June

Seward, just west of Lincoln Nebraska..

and heading west.. the down side of heading west is that the left side of the face, arms and legs get the sunburn.. the right side remains pale and interesting..

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Thursday 14 June

Auburn Nebraska, just south of Nebraska City...

I've been putting on the miles... since I last updated I put in a 97 mile day to get to St Joseph on the western edge of Missouri.. an old town that was the starting point for the pony express... young men wanted, must be wiry, skinny fellows, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred - wages $25 per week... imagine placing that ad in the Creative and Media section of the Guardian on Monday...

St Jo was also the home of Jesse James and his home has been restored apart from the bullet hole that killed him..

Leaving St Jo I headed over the Mighty Missouri into Kansas.. didn't stay long, though the roads were some of the best I've encountered, and I've heard that everything is up to date in Kansas City..

So into Nebraska and a howling gale in the face... thanks to Gary Barber of Rulo who gave me a lift in his pick up when the wind threatened to blow me off the road..

Campsite last night at Indian Cave State Park.. where we experienced the Mother of all Thunderstorms... there was a tornado warning out, and one hit the ground in the next county.. we had two hours of continuous lightning and torrents of rain and hail..

Old Thor was banging his hammers all night.

The tent again performed, though the area around was a swamp by morning.. after a coople of hours mopping up it was time to hit the road again...

stopped off at the offices of the Nemaha County Herald, where another feature photo story may hit the streets later this week if there is not more news - Man from England cycles into town - well it just about beats - Pan of fat catches fire...

and the mashed up wildlife on the side of the road is getting bigger as I travel west... add bull frogs (over 1 foot), wild turkeys, and 2 foot turtles to the list of animals that didn't quite make it to the other side..

oh and another respectful encounter with a live snake side winding across the road in front of me.. about 3 feet long...

drying out.. hoping for some cooler dryer weather as I head out west across Nebraska, following the Oregan Trail.. once I get to the other side of this state I will feel that I've crossed the halfway point..
Thursday 14 June

Flag Day
Auburn Nebraska

I should have mentioned that Brookfield Library in Missouri has been the only library so fay that has asked me to join (for $5) before they would let me update the travel update...

here the good librarians of Auburn Nebraska are as generous and understanding as all the rest.

Monday, June 11, 2001

Monday 11 June

Brookfield, Missouri

I never quite know what to say when people ask if I would like them to pray for me.. very embarrassing as I am not a believer, yet if that is what they want to do...?

I turned down the offer as I set off from the campsite, on Sunday morning...

now I'm not saying the events are in any way related - and who knows, maybe the good friends on the site prayed anyway..

but

ten miles up the road, I hit a pot hole and dropped the bike, landing in a bit of a heap, and sliding a number of knobbly extremities through the gravel...

NOW - ESPECIALLY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES - this was a MINOR scrape... I took the skin off my elbow, and have a sore point on my shoulder...

but it was enough of a sore event to take the shine off the day..

got to the camp site north west of Macon, and spent a delightful evening in the company of some serious bikers, Bob and Claire Rogers - 50,000 kms to date and still planning the next big one.. round Oz, round the States...

this is mindboggling to the soul just getting to about halfway across his first coast to coast...

hey ho - it's not about competition - it's all about biking as a way of seeing a country..

Monday 11 June

Brookfield, Missouri

So I set off onto to the KATY Trail - this is a rails to trails project a bit like a sustrans project in England (for info on Sustrans and its 5,000 miles of bike trails go to links and click on www.sustrans.org.uk)

the Katy runs along the line of the Old Kansas and Texas Railway (hence Katy).. and is over 240 miles in length..

in the end I travelled along it for about 130 miles..

the trail is awash with butterflies and other wildlife.. and there are stopping places every 10-20 miles or so.

The wide Missouri is full and the KAty Trail is flooded in parts.. two options - go round or go through..

I met up with a couple of chaps heading west and we teamed up for a while and mostly, where we could see the other side, opted for the go through choice...

bad move..

well, ok move, the water came over the top of the cranks.. so the shoes filled up with gunky Missouri flood water on each down stroke, and the wash just caught the bottom of the pannier bags..

no harm done except to the dignity and the dampness, nay squelchiness of the feet for the remainder of the day.

Decided to leave the KAty trail near Hartsburg and headed north through Columbia to the Finger Lake SP..

this was Saturday night and the no camping places notices were posted.. I was hoping I would not have another experience like Pikes LAnding in Kentucky (the only time I have been turned away from a State Park)

but no.. talkto the campers already on site asnd see if they would mind you sharing...

and lo, the Waltz and Mann families were so helpful and accommodating - thanks again..

Kinger Lake was full of off road motor bikers and quad bikes.. just a tad noisy and I had the distinct feeling of being in Mike Leigh's Nuts in May... they aren't taking any notice of us Keith... they will in a moment Candice-Marie, just pass me the tent mallet...

These few updates are on Monday 11 June

but go back a few days.. a lot has happened.. so please read back a few entries..

St Louis was hard to leave.. Tennessee Williams, TS Eliot, Jackie Joiner Kersee, Miles Davis, Sara Teasdale all lived there and may have experienced the same difficulty with leaving that I did..

it is and extra-ordinary city, with distinct areas of affluence style charm, and areas of run down neighbourhoods that I guess you get in any large city with the complex mix of industry, commerce and universities and amenities..

the Wm Jefferson Memorial Musem at the foot of the Arch is wonderful.. the time line of westward exploration and expansion is fascinating.. they also have a stuffed buffalo (or is it a Bison?) ... so of course I asked the question of the attendant - what's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.

Thursday evening.. tuning in to World Service for the Election result.. it all seems to be over before the counting really begins...

Thursday, June 07, 2001

Thursday 7 June

Election Day in the Uk

and St Louis continues to delight.. the bike is getting its 1,000 mile service at Mesa Cycles..

and feeling like a tourist in a fine city is a delight.

the performance of Romeo and Juliet in Forest Park last night was excellent, a tad heavy on the imagery, and a few curious intonations to an English ear... Romeo was bowled over by Juliet's boody..

This morning Jim took me around the Botanical Gardens, which are lush, and include an English Woodland.

The newspaper reports that the Labour lead in the polls has slipped to 11%.. and the PM is urging against complacency... I'll be tuning in to World Service tonight.

The weather in St Louis continues to be hot and very humid.. there will further storms tonight, but hopefully as I set out on the KATY Trail tomorrow the weather will have cleared a bit.

heading across Missouri feels like a new adventure.. and this will shortly be my longest ever ride.

more anon

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Wednesday 6 June

St Louis public library

the past few days have hurtled past like the truck driver who nearly flipped me over the parapet of the Ohio Bridge... no alarms chums, just a near death experience..

the weather has been an irritation, but as I've said elsewhere - serendipity smiles on me in reward for suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

in the past three days I've stayed in Cape Giradou, so I finally crossed the Mississippi, ahead of plans..
and then in St Genevieve a delightful old french settlement and now in St Louis.. where it is a pure pleasure to feel like a tourist again and less like a cyclist.. at least for a few days..

the bike is at the Mesa Cycles shop on Big Bend Bvd.. and I'm touring around on a shuttle bus, and courtesy of the extreme kindness of Jim Sherby, Attorny at Law, whom I met on the camp site in Shiloh when I first got drowned out... and also with the generosity of the host and landlord of the Lister House B&B where my fortunes have also smiled.

Lister House is a beautiful 1895 house, named after the antiseptic doctor Lister who stayed there during the 1904 World Fair.

Yesterday was a day of hot and damp grumpiness.. 2 more thunderstorms that I just couldn't dodge, and a road into St Louis that was positively dangerous in places.. but a few phone calls later and I was heading up to Central West End, an area of affluent fine old houses, and the University, past Nottingham Road where I went through a red light in surprise..

Let's also hear it for Ricky Ackee - (it may be Rick Yackey) - restaurateur and affable mien host of the Norton's Cafe.. where, Oh bliss and sob, I drank a pint of draught Guinness... and ate Cajun Combo..

I've found a guide book to the Katy Trail.. where I'll head off across Missouri State on Friday.. though Philip at the Lister House has invited me to the Sunday event of the English Speaking Union.. is this too tempting?

let's get publishing... and consider the options in more leisure...
5 June 2001

I'm in St Louis...

and there has been some further technical trouble with the update so I'm quickly going to republish now..

hey, I'm in St Louis...

and it's wonderful

Monday, June 04, 2001

Monday continued

back a couple of nights..

Staurday 2 June was possible as close to a perfect day as it has been possible to imagine on this trip so far..

crossing from Tennessee into Kentucky, and during the course of passing through Hickman, Ky, i met Johnny Carr, drummer extraordinaire, who played drums with Carl Perkins (who grew up in Tiptonville jus down the road) and with Percy Sledge.. so let's hear it for Johnny Carr..

and later I met Eddie Roberts, the man who found the condefderate cannon that fell off the bluff at Columbus Ky.


The

but the day is all about seeing the Mississippi for the firstime.. there is smoething about seeing a great world river and trying to capture the moment in words..

the sun is setting in a clear sky over the Mississippi, the power of the feelings you get ewhen when you set eyes on a world river for the first time is extra.. it requires a romantic poet to write about the grandeur that it inspires in the beating of the heart..

and the shadow of an eagle passed over as I took in the immensity of the view..

the river is truly immense.. it needs a metaphor to capture the spirit of its power.

Columbus is a village now of a couple of hundred people..

it was close to becoming the capital of the US, losing out by one vote to Washington DC...
briefly a few more notes about Henderson TN... I had such a good time down there and felt that I really got to know some special people... the thursday night before I left there was a special meal at Warren's and Amelia's house.. not for me I hasten to add.. Trey was demonstrating his gourmet culinary artistry... but Warren produced a bottle of Young's Ale.. which I almost cried into.. I have occasionally tortured my self on the road with thoughts of a point of Wherry.. a light draft ale from Norfolk...

enough already..

the meal was halibut cookjed in special saffromn and hollandaise sauces with chesse potato soup..

it was sensational and my gastric trouble sfled in respect of such wonderful fare.

so let me repeat my thanks to the good people of Henderson TN for their wexceptional hospitality and care for for a traveller passing through..

Monday 4 June

Jackson, Missouri...

and I'm much recovered and back on the road again, and making good progress ,, indeed I've hit 4 states in 2 days over the weeknd, Twennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri...

I caught my first sight of the mighty Mississippi the other night, and awe-inspiring it was too.. more of that anon..

I'm in Missouri at last having crossed the river at Cape Giradou.. and I'm heading up to St Louis, where I'l change tyres, service the bike, get a haircut etc... before heading wwest on the KATY Trail. a sustrans style bike trail along an old railroad..