Wednesday, May 22th – Day 50 – St. James to Eureka

Screenshot_20190522-193308_Ride with GPS
Best part of the day: No headwinds!!

Worst part of the day: A very warm day

Distance: 73 miles Riding Time: 6hrs 17min

Bed count: 30 Sleeping Bag count: 20

The 6 o’clock alarm came too early for us. The storm had passed and we had a bright, sunny morning. And best of all, the winds were supposed to be coming more out of the southwest making them tailwinds!! With that, we decided to make that extra push today bypassing our planned stop in St. Clair and ride the extra 25 miles to Eureka.

Had the hotel-provided breakfast. Fay once again made extra waffles for a break. The hotel’s breakfast also had eggs, sausage and biscuits. So, Fay made a couple of breakfast biscuit sandwiches, too, for later in our ride. One other good thing this morning, whatever was in Rob’s eye was gone this morning.

It was a fairly easy ride getting out of St. James riding through residential neighborhoods. With almost 3,000’ of climbing today, we had lots of rollers. A good portion of today’s ride was alongside I-44, so not a whole lot to see besides the traffic, of course, businesses and small ranch-style homes as Route 66 is still a well-used roadway.
A little way outside of St. James, we rode past an area, Rosati, where a tornado had been reported yesterday. It did a little damage from what we were told by the front desk person at our hotel this morning.

Route 66 then veered away from I-44 towards an area called Fanning. There we came upon this huge rocking chair! It’s billed as the World’s 2nd largest rocking chair! The convenience store there had reopened sometime in 2017.

20190522_08565420190522_08591120190522_090003(The Rocker and a mural on the side of the convenience store there in Fanning.)

The next town on our route was Cuba. It touts itself as the City of Murals. We saw a couple of them on our route, but, didn’t venture to other parts of the town looking for others because of our long ride day20190522_092733(One of the murals in Cuba.)

We took our first break after about 25 miles in the town of Bourbon. We passed the town’s high school before our break where signs at the school and in the yards of residents it indicated that their graduation was days away. Stopped at a Dollar General in town, picked up OJ and found a shaded spot nearby to enjoy our rest stop.

Another 20 miles down the road was St. Clair, our original stopping point for today. Made the town’s McDonald’s our lunch stop. With the warmer temps, salads and chocolate shakes were on the menu!

As with our past days’ routes, we continued to weave from one side of the interstate to the other. After St. Clair, it was back on the north side where we passed a spot with a couple of concrete teepees in the area of Union. Looked very touristy.

Back on the bike, we came upon another touring cyclist, John Pickett! He was riding Route 66, then onto the Trans Am, then the Western Express towards SF, but, wanted to finish in Portland, OR, by riding the Cascades. It wasn’t the safest place to stop, barely off the 2-lane, busy road. We exchanged info and got his blog site: rootchopper.com.

More rollers brought us to the town of Pacific. Passed a Veteran’s memorial and a fascinating sight, some silica mining caves.20190522_16422820190522_164226The caves were exposed when Route 66 was being built through the area.

Finally reached Eureka where we stopped at the Walmart for dinner items. While Fay was shopping, Rob booked our hotel for the night, the Super 8 Six Flags which we rode past going to Walmart. Tonight’s feast: roast chicken, Caesar salad, potato salad, and mint fudge cookies (of course!!).

With the long ride day, it was 10pm before we knew it. Time for bed.

Tomorrow, we head for St Louis and our Warm Showers host, Roger.

Until our next post….

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