Day 38: Chester to Farmington, MO

Yesterday, we were woken up by Zack’s alarm at 5 AM. Actually, I was awake already. Crispin and I decided to get breakfast after we packed everything, so we went to Hardee’s again. When we were leaving Hardee’s we saw Zack and Jill passing by us. They are trying to aim for 70 miles a day.

Popeye statue in Chester

On the way out of town, we stopped by the Popeye statues to take some photographs. The inventor of the Popeye cartoon was from Chester. Once we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River we were in Missouri. The road was flat for a long time and we could see for miles in both directions. But for the majority of the way afterward the roads became hilly.

Crossing the Mississippi River

Finally in Missouri!

The flat road

Crispin and I stopped for ice cream at a convenience store in St. Mary. We thought Zack and Jill would have stopped here since they were in front of us, but they didn’t. As we rode on, another cyclist from the opposite direction appeared. His name is Matthew and he's from Bristol, England. Riding from San Francisco to New York City, Matt gave me a suggestion of getting a mirror on my handlebar. Since there is a bicycle shop in Farmington, I decided to do it. Matt also said there’s another guy behind him also going east that we’ll meet. Soon enough, we came upon Manson. A 62 year old man who got injured the first time he tried to ride the TransAmerica Trail. This is his second attempt. I’m sure I’ll meet more east bound riders on the trail as time goes on.

Matt, riding from San Francisco to New York City

Manson, going east

We saw three fleets of Corvettes passing by us. They must be going to a gathering. My water level was getting low and luckily there was a brewery called Crown Valley Brewing and Distilling Co. we stopped in to get something to drink. I had the best root beer there and we talked to the manager for a while. After this nice break, we rode the rest of the way to Farmington.

Crown Valley Brewing and Distilling, Co

On multiple occasions, we heard about Al’s Place, a cyclist inn in Farmington. It was used as a jail before being converted to house cyclists. The place is so cool with high ceilings, clean rooms, and everything we needed to have a comfortable stay. It was worth the recommended donation of $20.

Al's Place

Fish tacos at 12 West

After we settled down, Crispin and I went to get lunch at 12 West, a restaurant just a block away, across from the courthouse. The food was fantastic. I had the best fish tacos there. Then we rode about a mile north to Trans Am Cyclery, the bike shop in town. On the way, we stopped by a CVS so I can get some bug spray.

At the bike shop, I bought two more CO2 canisters. As it turns out, one 16 gram canister can only fill 40 PSI, so I would need two to fill up a tire completely. I also bought a mirror and new bar ends since the mirror will not fit on the handlebar with my old bar ends. Lastly, I bought an extra tube just in case if I get another flat.

New bar ends and a mirror

It started to thunderstorm. After everything was set, Crispin and I rode all the way back to the inn before it started pouring.

In the inn, we took showers and did laundry. We had an early dinner at a Chinese takeout place where I ordered General Tso’s chicken. They gave us so much that we couldn’t finish our dishes so we took them home to eat them for breakfast the next day.

Back at the inn, I went to sleep early at 8 PM. This morning, I got up at 4 AM.

Today is the day that Crispin and I will split. He will take a northern route to Iowa and I will continue west on Route 76 to Pueblo, Colorado. These past 12 days have been great having our adventures together, but all good things have to come to an end. I learned a lot from Crispin, such as yelling at the dogs so they don’t attack me, waving at the cars to be more friendly, learning what gorp is, which is another name for trail mix and stands for good old raisins and peanuts. Lastly, when I asked him what advice he can pass down to me, he said to not stay in line. We are often told to stay in line since the first grade, but life is not about that. It’s about doing your own thing. I hope Crispin all the best on his adventure and that he tries not to forget things. I think he suffers from the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease since he has a hard time recalling things. I’d have to say things two or three times so he can remember. 

After eating the leftover Chinese food, we’ll be on our separate ways. I hope to get to Ellington today.