In the early morning a thunderstorm passed though Carbondale.  I could hear it outside, “come on out Don, I won’t hurt you”.  Ok, I was still asleep so it must have been a nightmare?  Or was it?  Audrey and I had a nice continental breakfast at the hotel.  Before Audrey dropped me off at my ending point from yesterday we had to stop at Walmart for a pre paid phone.  My phone is playing some kind of weird charge/no charge trick on me and I don’t like it.  So in case it decides to take a crap on me Audrey suggested a pre paid phone to have as a backup.  She is full of great ideas!

Audrey dropped me off, back on the TAT, and I resumed my ride.  She headed on down the road, ahead of me, to find accommodations.  It was a gorgeous morning.  The area I was riding in was around Little Grassy Lake in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.  I had to stop and take a video it was so nice.  I called Audrey to see if she was enjoying the morning as much as I was.  I heard huffing and puffing.  I said, “are you riding your bike”?  Lol. Yup!  She had stopped, parked and was riding back my way.

Once we met up we got to enjoy the morning ride together.  It was awesome.  We even ran into a couple on a tour.  Ves & Zory live in Toronto but, are orginally from Bulgaria.  Yep! Add another country to Don’s UN.  France, Germany, Israel, England, Scotland, Spain, Australia, Canada, Ukraine and Bulgaria.  I could be missing a few in my list?  We each took pictures, I have added one below.  They headed down from Toronto and got on the Underground Railroad trail, which lead to the TAT.  It was nice to see some riders again and Audrey got a chance to experience the visit.  A little after we met Ves and Zory, Audrey headed back to the car to go find a place to stay in Cave-In-Rock, IL.

The ride was pretty challenging today and it was humid, again.  I made it to about 15 miles before town and my partner in crime was riding toward me again, twice in one day, I am so lucky!  Audrey found a campgound in Cave-In-Rock, IL and wanted to finish the ride off with me.  We were only about 3 miles out and the wind picked up and the sky turned black.  We started to push hard ton beat the storm.  My legs were already gased but I pushed it as hard as I could. Audrey was way ahead of me. Too late!  The wind was whipping, the trees, something fierce.  The sky opened up and gave the five of us a bath.  Five?  Don, Audrey, Bike, Bob and Audrey’s bike which we have named Dale.  It’s a Cannondale, so there is the rationale.

We made it to the campground pavilion without serious injury, just really wet. I was exhausted and Audrey was kind enough to run to the only restaurant in town and get us to-go food before they closed.  We had our post ride dinner, at dusk, in a pavilion, in Cave-In-Rock, IL on the Ohio River.  What an ending to a long day.  Audrey got the full TAT experience tonight.  Tent camping!  Oh did she love it!

We are staying in a state campground in Cave-In-Rock, IL.

Day 41 – 86 miles

Total – 3,208.3 miles

There is a video my Facebook page at