Yesterday Audrey came out to visit me on the TAT!  The plan was to meet in Chester, IL right on the Mississippi River.  When Audrey got near Chester and noticed the lightening she crossed into Missouri and tracked my route till she found me.  I said I was OK, I was sooooo close, only a few more miles.  A few more miles up Audrey was stopped at a gas station.  She said are you sure you don’t want me to give you a ride to the hotel, I can drop you off in the same spot in the morning. It was the wise choice.  We threw Bike and Bob in the Suby and drove to the hotel.

The plan for Audrey coming out was not only to visit, but she brought her bike and she was going to ride alone on the TAT with me!  The idea was for us to agree on a destination city.  Audrey would drive there and find a place to stay given our options: hotel, RV park, city park camping or whatever, lol. I think she would prefer the first two optiond over the last two, lol. Audrey would then start biking back toward me and we would ride together. Great plan, hey!

This morning Audrey drove me back to my stopping point last night. She wished me well and I headed over the Mississippi River and officially into Illinois.  That is 7 States down!  My videographer got a video of me climbing out of the Mississippi River basin into Chester.  It’s was an early wake-up call for the quads this morning.  After the big climb there were a few more hills leaving Chester. Outside of Chester there were nice flat stretches and easy rolling hills. And to my surprise I got an early visit from Audrey!

She parked the car at a church a few miles up the road and came back to ride with me.  It was great for a whole 12 miles.  In the rearview I could see it, we both noticed it.  A storm was brewing.  Audrey left me and pedaled back to the car.  I rode on to Ava.  In Ava I could begin to hear the thunder.  I said to myself, “not gonna have a repeat of yesterday”.  I stopped in Ava under a large park pavillion.  I gave Audrey a call and said I was taking shelter.  Looking at the radar it was looking fierce.  Audrey backtracked to Ava and met me at the park.  I was going to wait it out.  As the video will show, holy cow Hurricane Ava hit shore!

After the dust settled we agreed a shorter day was in order.  We decided on calling it quits in Carbondale, about 27 miles short of our original ending point in Goreville.  I rode out the remaining 24 miles or so in lite drizzle and made it to our rondevous point. It was a difficult day, dealing with the weather, but it was nice to have Audrey there for the support.  We spent the last few hours of our evening at an AT&T store and Best Buy trying to figure out why my phone won’t charge.  This thing is my lifeline out here, I use it for everything.  And no it did not get drenched in Hurricane Ava. We did have a nice dinner at Chili’s the margaritas & beers were a great ending to the day.

We are staying at a hotel in Carbondale, IL.

Oh! Hey I finished map set 9 today! 3 more to go!

Day 40 – 52 miles

Total 3,122.3 miles

Oh do we have videos on my Facebook page at

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1222394794439849&id=100000080201650

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