August 6 Muscatine, Iowa to Cambridge, Illinois
I had a very good ride today. It was raining early today so I waited until about 830 before getting on the trike. The roads were wet but the rain has stopped. I rode all the way to Buffalo Prairie before stopping for lunch. I then continued on to Sherrod. I stopped to get a drink and spoke to two veterans about my tour. I gave them both a business card. I then continued on to Cambridge Illinois. I am staying at a warm showers host house. John and Stephanie are great hosts. I have an indoor bed, shower, and my own bathroom. There was a band from Ireland here called Jig Jam. They did a concert and a lot of people came to watch. There was also a potluck dinner. I sat at the table and talked to Mike and Diane. They are farmers who raise chickens and sell eggs. They took a business card and said they knew a lot of veterans. Very nice people. I listened to the concert until nine. Going to bed now. A lot of storms forecasted for tomorrow. I also crossed over the 6000 mile mark today and currently stand at 6,012 miles for my tour.
August 7 Cambridge, Illinois to Henry, Illinois
I had a great ride today. I started early at 7:30 due to some possible storms. I stopped for breakfast and was treated to a free meal. I got back on the trike and stopped in Kewanee, Illinois for a drink. I spoke with some people about my tour. Rain was starting to fall. I then rode in to the country and down some small gravel roads. Rain has stopped and the sky looks good. I made it to Henry Illinois and checked in at the Waterworks Park. This is a free park for camping for cyclist. I will be setting up my tent under a pavilion in case of bad weather. This is a beautiful park. I am right next to the river. I have a bathroom, electricity, and water. I walked into town to DQ for dinner. The owner allowed me to buy my meal for only one dollar. The American Legion in town was beautiful but it was closed. I’m feeling good. But I’m ready for bed.
August 8 Henry, Illinois to Odell, Illinois
I had a great ride today. I started early at 8 AM and had to ride across the Illinois River bridge. That was very exciting. I then turned off the road to a country road but came to a very long steep hill. This was about a 400 foot climb at 10% grade. After that, I had a long smooth ride in the country. I stopped for lunch at Cornell and talked to a guy about my tour. I then continued on to get to Odell. I saw a very bad accident on the interstate with several fatalities . Once in Odell, I went to the city pool. It felt great to relax in the pool. I then went to town for dinner and again shared my story with others. I ended up getting a free dinner and a donation. I then went back to the city park next to the pool. Marcie Rea, a Facebook follower, and her friend showed up with some cake and a donation . She then left and went to buy me some snacks for tomorrow. Life is very good. I will be seeing family tomorrow. So excited.
August 9 Odell, Illinois to Iroquois, Illinois
I had a long ride today. I started at 7 AM. I rode on many back country roads and had very few hills. I made it to Ashkum Illinois and stopped at a Subway for lunch. I still had 24 miles to go. I got back on the trike and headed down the road. I came to the town of Iroquois Illinois. My mom and Uncle Bill were there waiting for me. They are going to ensure that I make it to my 30th high school reunion on Saturday night. I took a shower and tried to relax. Uncle Bill fixed a delicious dinner of chicken, corn, beans, and veggies. It is great to see family again. Time to get ready for my last push to Ohio.
August 10 Iroquois, Illinois to Spencerville, Ohio
I had a great ride today. My mom and Uncle Bill gave me a lift from Iroquois Illinois to Decatur Indiana. I am now in my 14th state and only 35 miles from my childhood home town. They dropped me off in Decatur and I rode the last 35 miles to Spencerville Ohio. The closer I get to home, the faster I peddled. I made it to Spencerville at 3:10 PM. I was greeted by a small group of about 25 people. The mayor, PJ Johnson, was there along with many friends and family. My mom, uncle Bill, my brother, and many other people that I have not seen for a long time. It was very emotional. The local news TV reporters were there and interviewed me. It was great to be in my hometown but it feels very strange. This is now my 15th state on my tour and I have 6290 miles down. Looking forward to a nice break of about 7 to 10 days.
August 11 Spencerville, Ohio
Tonight was a very fun night. I went to my 30th high school reunion at Landeck Tavern. I saw many of my classmates from 30 years ago that I have not seen since high school. I had an amazing time. I cannot wait until my 35th reunion. I’m just so excited to be home and to see all my old friends.
August 12 Spencerville, Ohio
Today was another amazing day. It started off with the American Legion picnic at the Field and Stream pond in Spencerville Ohio. There were several people here. They are following me on my bike trip. I helped serve the lunch. Then the commander, Ryan Jackson, called me to the front and presented me with an amazing donation from the American Legion Post in Spencerville Ohio. I then left from the picnic and went to my old high school. They were having a car show. I rode my trike around the car show and I met several amazing people. Again it is great to be in my hometown. Looking forward to many more exciting ventures during this week.