Might as well post this here, as a "mini-RR".
We met up on Tuesday and got started a bit later than expected. Still a good day of riding.
Jamie Z at the helm of the good ship "Wee-Strom".
Didnt' think to get out the camera to get a meetup picture in Hannibal, so the first pics we took was when we ran up against something:
Our first barricade! Seems the good folks at MoDot have blocked off the road on Hwy. 79, just south of Hannibal. We saw the detour signs but thought "We're gnarly adventurers! We can get around through a construction site!" NOT!
(Per the website at MoDOT
: MO 79 South - Pike County - Pavement Repair Of Concrete Pavement scheduled from 22-NOV-09 to 30-SEP-11. Please seek an alternate route
2 years? Yep - money is bit tight around here for state highways.
So, we turned around and followed the detour around on US 61 and returned back up Hwy 79 to get the tracks for the .gpx files. And lo and behold, we found the other end:
We had seen earlier on the northern end of this closed section a couple of guys on loaded touring bicycles. The had made it through and we passed them as we came up on the southern end. They had a time getting their bike and gear over the gates. Turns out the road is washed out, and they had a sidewalk width of road to get around the washout. Pictures of the closed area!
(Note that the DAY we rode pictures were taken of the slide area!)
So, after turning around we passed them again!
On to Louisiana, where we stopped for lunch. We looked around town and saw a couple of possibilities but decided to stop and ask a local for a recommendation. At a art gallery in town, the owner gave us a great recommendation for a cafe we saw when we pulled into town. "I recommend it highly! As a matter of fact, I will see you guys down there later!" Sounded like he was also closing up shop for his lunch. As we wandered around the gallery to look over the pictures, we spied an artist bio of this gentleman. On it it said, "He and his wife also run the Eagle's Nest Cafe". Got a big laugh out of that!
So naturally we had lunch there! I went to the back to clean up and was greeted with this:
The accomodations were great, the staff was helpful and the meal was very good. My lunch:
We left filled and cruised on down the road, catching tracks as we headed south bound.
I was able to show Jamie the route I scouted the week before and we made a couple of corrections (picked one road closer to the North Riverfront Trail in St. Louis City). He was questioning why I had chosen one particular route after crossing the Missouri river in St. Charles. After I showed him the route (that goes right next to Lambert International Airport - we saw a Southwest Airlines jet fly right over us on approach!) he realized I had picked a really cool route to avoid the concrete barriers on the MRT route.
We got through downtown St. Louis to get a final picture of a sign just south of the Gateway Arch.
After that we refueled, and I rode with Jamie until we got to the southern end of the city limits of Arnold, where he split off south, and I headed for home!
Still to do: Besides the southern part question about the route, Jamie mentioned that we need to get the northern half of Illinois tracked.
In Missouri north of Hannibal, there is a route that is mapped but NOT recommended for bicyclists as it has heavy traffic (nothing that would affect a moto, tho.) I may be able to get to those routes later on when I am planning to ride up to Quicy, IL to do some genealogy research for my grandfather's family.
Yep, I had fun...Let's do it again!