Posted by: rustymccain | July 13, 2011

Whine and Cheese

Every day seems to be a new discovery for me as we traverse the U.S. Today was no exception to that. We were both awakened several times last night by thunderstorms in Farmington. We woke this morning to find that there were still thunderstorms in the area, but lucky for us, it looked like we were going to have another window of opportunity to ride.

Decisions, Decisions

We both are still shot. Ray said that his legs are no longer the type of jello that wiggles. They have a consistency more like pudding. And my legs are the same. As a matter of fact, an incident from yesterday made my quads hurt even more. We were tooling down the road, I was minding my own business and all of a sudden a German Shepherd jumped out from behind a bush and started coming at me with a seriousness of purpose that I respected greatly. He looked like an angry Jacob Black! (That reference is for Mary Ann and Kristine. If you don’t get it….Wikipedia). Anyway, that is the moment I discovered that you can strain a muscle and pee your shorts at the same time.

Though tired, we are still turning the pedals over. We started out under cloudy skies and wet roads. The humidity was so high that we were soaking wet within 5 minutes of our start. Our first stop turned out to be at 40 miles in today. I walked into a store and a guy looked at me and asked where we started. I told him where. He looked at me, touched the sleeve of my jersey and said, “So you guys ran into a lot of rain.” I had to explain that we had no rain…. he was looking at a sweaty mess. But the temperatures were surprisingly mild compared to what we have endured the last few days, so it wasn’t all that bad for us today.

Southeastern Missouri Countryside

Farmington is small, so we were pretty much in the country as soon as we left the city limits. And it was amazing. I never knew much about this area of the country but southeastern Missouri is absolutely beautiful. We took some pictures and I will post one, but pictures simply do not do it justice.

And, again unknown to us, we entered Missouri wine country. There are numerous wineries where we were riding that we had no idea existed. I think Ray misread some of the signs. You see, I had told him that most of the ride to the Mississippi River from Farmington tended to be downhill. But the ride turned out to be a lot more hilly than either one of us expected. And apparently, when Ray saw that Wine Country signs, he saw and “h” in “wine”, so he started whining about me misrepresenting our ride. He did that all the way to the little village of St. Mary, near the Mississippi.

Crossing the Mississippi

We got ready to cross the Mississippi, and looked up ahead and saw Carlie and Becky, the girls who have become good friends since we met them on the route back in Utah. They are doing a great job and are very determined. They have decided to ride down to Beaver Dam and meet our friends and family on the weekend.

We stopped at the other side of the Mississippi for a photo-op and grabbed us a quick bite to eat in Chester, IL. Chester is a small town, but is proud of being the hometown of the guy who created Popeye. From there, Ray and I took off for Murphysboro, IL, some 30 miles away. This is where Ray took his revenge for my “mostly downhill” comments. He hammered it home like he was fresh as a daisy and pulled us all the way to Murphysboro, while I sat in and did my turn at whining. We finished the day with 80 miles, never got rained on and felt lucky that the temperature never got to where it has been the past few days.

The Boys in Illinois

We are now at a little over 2600 miles. We have made it through 8 of our 11 states. Tomorrow we will be in Kentucky, so will only have two states left and about 1200 miles. We are still excited about seeing friends and family on the weekend. And we can’t say this enough….thanks to all of you who are checking in and making comments. It really is a boost to us. If you don’t want to make a public comment, but want to contact us, Ray’s address is and I am Thanks again to you all for all the good thoughts.

We are gonna make it!


  1. Your final comment “we are gonna make it” reminds me a song that perhaps you and Ray can adopt as your own….

    We’re gonna do it!
    Give us any chance, we’ll take it.
    Give us any rule, we’ll break it.
    We’re gonna make our dreams come true.
    Doin’ it our way.
    Nothin’s gonna turn us back now,
    Straight ahead and on the track now.
    We’re gonna make our dreams come true,
    Doin’ it our way.
    There is nothing we won’t try,
    Never heard the word impossible.
    This time there’s no stopping us.
    We’re gonna do it.
    On your mark, get set, and go now,
    Got a dream and we just know now,
    We’re gonna make our dream come true.
    And we’ll do it our way, yes our way.
    Make all our dreams come true,
    And do it our way, yes our way,
    Make all our dreams come true
    For me and you.

    I left out “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
    Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.”

    Still inspiring after all these miles!

  2. Are you requesting a personal comment from me? LOL. Hopefully a couple days in KY with your family and friends will help turn those “jello puddin pop” legs back into the strong iron pistons that I chase all over the Trace and surrounding areas. Next time Ray takes off like that, just think about JJ screaming down the observatory hill after the Bulebird event…. Man that was a scary ride…. He was out of control.

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