Dix to Mt Carmel, Illinois?

Day 53

80 Miles

The day started with a beautiful sunrise, with a romantic appearance as the fog dimmed the bright sun. 

We felt optimistic about our route and this morning I would have said  we had a good chance of arriving in Mt Carmel early. However this wasn’t the case! 

I’m writing this blog whilst eating my evening meal, with my bike parked outside because we’ve not long arrived in the town. The reason for arriving late is due to google sending up some country roads – a muddy and stony experience and very slow!  

The countryside is beautiful but not an efficient route to cycle. 

The bike wheels jammed up with mud!

Thankfully we stopped using google maps and cycled towards highway 15 after getting some helpful advice re directions.

This was when we called at a garage for a map. Unfortunately they didn’t sell any but with some fortune we met these guys ( I’ve got my arm around Paul ) and they offered us a map – even going home to collect it. They’ve saved us! 

We continued to cycle trying to get to Mt Carmel before loosing the light with Albion town just in view. 

I started to waver because of the heat, drenched from head to toe in sweat and I needed to stop and pull up. Andy said for me to lie down on the grass and this is exactly what we did. 

Then, this lady pulled up and passed Andy a couple of drinks. Angie was aware of the temperature outside and she cared to stop and help two strangers. We also met Doug, Angies husband. Doug drove to see us and we chatted for a while about our trip. Nice people! This is Angies car. 

After some refreshments we continued up the road when Max pulled over, asking if we’d like to stay at his place. Unfortunately we had to thank Max but sadly say we needed to carry on because it would make tomorrow’s already long day longer. Thank you Max! 

All the way to Mt Carmel people waved and smiled from their cars, making our ride in heartwarming! 

We had around sixteen miles left to cycle and just by the roadside Dolores and Frank got our attention. We talked about our mission for MSF, amongst other things such as nursing because Dolores, a former nurse and now nurse educator. We had things in common and they offered us a place to stay and gave us some bottles of cold water. 

This is just the ticket when your really and on the road. Thank you again Dolores and Frank! 

Finally we arrived in Mt.Carmel after eleven hours on the road. 

There was one job left to do and that was to wash the bikes. 

A long day with another planned for tomorrow so it’s now bedtime. 

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