Saturday, June 20th – Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Tallahassee, FL to Festus, MO through Jasper, AL (~850 mi / 1,368 km)
Okay, okay, so we gave in and rented a car. But it was necessary to get as far away from Florida as possible. It was hot and we seemed stuck. So far we’ve gone about 200 miles on bike and 850 by car/truck/RV.
259 mi from Orlando to Tallahassee
305 mi from Tallahassee to Birmingham, Al
490 mi from Birmingham to Festus, Mo (just outside of St. Louis)
We passed through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.
We got on the road by about 7 am and kept flying down the road. I must say that cars are much faster than riding on a bike. Looking at the speedometer and it was 70 mph in the car and about 12 mph on the bike. I guess that’s why people don’t ride their bikes across the country.
We were glad to get some miles out of the way and get further out of the south. But I miss the bike.
We drove to the outskirts of Birmingham to go to Nate’s Uncle Pete and Aunt Tina’s lake house. It was awesome! They have a beautiful home and hospitable hearts. It was my first time meeting them and I felt like I was part of the gang. Nathan’s cousins Kristie and Tripp were also there and it was fun to meet more of the family.
We talked to Kristie about camping in Banff bear country. She once did this for a month and apparently it isn’t as terrifying as we had thought. The major campgr0unds are fairly bear free and there is a lot of info for campers to stay safe. We’re still researching this mom and dad. =)
Tripp does a lot of biking and gave us some good encouragement.
The lake house is just beautiful. We spent some time down at the lake playing with the dogs and enjoying the view. We look forward to returning here in the future. Our time here was too short.
We left about 2:30 and headed up to my cousin Charissa and Doug’s house in Festus, Missouri.
Our drive went pretty well. We took an iphone adventure in search of postcards in Alabama. We arrived at a phantom gas station on the side of a back roads hill. It was supposed to be a travel center. I guess there are no postcards in Alabama. As we rolled through Mississippi we noticed that the south actually is hilly. We were glad to be in a car. Once we passed through Memphis we were in Arkansas for about 40 miles. Where we were was really, really flat. Then we got into Missouri and the Ozarks and we were basically climbing mountains. I thought the midwest was flat?!
Charissa and Doug live just south of St. Louis. We got in about 10:30. I had never been to their house before. They are a really fun family with 3 cool teenage girls: Rachel, Alyssa, and Hallie.
I am sitting next to Hallie right now and she’s 13 and full of spunk, attitude, and fun. She took me around on their 4-wheeler earlier and I didn’t fall off, but I thought I was going to.
The Kapplers live in a beautiful house out in the middle of nowhere on the Kappler family property of some size. Nathan started feeling sick on the drive and so we took another rest day on Sunday. (My arm is still healing up as well). We’ve been able to just chill out and tell great stories and laugh. Life is good ya’ll.
We piled in the car later in the afternoon to return the rental car to the St. Louis airport and then headed to some friends’ house for a Father’s Day spaghetti dinner celebration. We returned home full, a little too full perhaps. =)
We hope to head out some time Monday afternoon and get dropped off at a camp site (Pere Marquette State Park perhaps) and then head out early Tuesday morning on our bikes, a week after my wonderful fall.