|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's Northwest Territory Motorcycle Ride|
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23 May 2015, 8PM CT, Chester, IL
What an exciting day. I can hardly wait to tell you all about it. The highlight was entering the Northwest Territory. I entered crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. I will be in the Northwest Territory for about a week, exploring all of the states of the Northwest Territory.
I rode 275.8 miles today. I had planned to make it a shorter day, timewise as well, but it did not work out that way. Much of the reason was a strange phenomenon, to me at least. I was on a road in southeastern Missouri and it seemed that everybody was having a garage sale. This went on for miles. About every quarter to half of a mile, there would be cars parked on both sides of the road and gobs of things like shirts and dresses hanging on hangers and all kinds of other stuff scattered around the lawn. I couldn't believe that anybody could have so much stuff for a garage sale. I thought I was driving through a K-Mart over and over again. I had the feeling that some Fuller-Brush-like salesman had sold merchandise to every third home and they were now trying to unload it on people driving through. The speed limit was mostly 55 mph, and I would get up to 50-55 then have to slow down to about 5-10 mph because of cars parking and unparking time after time after time. If somebody from southeastern Missouri is reading this and can explain it to me I would be very happy.
I left Memphis this morning first headed west into Arkansas, then a bit northwest, then gradually changing to northeast into Missouri. Then mostly north in Missouri until I crossed the Mississippi into Illinois. I am in Chester which is on the river, so I have just barely entered the Northwest Territory.
I didn't take that many pictures today, I didn't see much that I thought was interesting enough to show you. I did take a picture in Arkansas, it seemed to me that I needed at least one from Arkansas. The northeastern part of Arkansas seems to be primarily a farming area. The land is relatively flat. The roads are relatively straight, occasionally interupted by a chicane which seems to be there to go around a big old tree. Here's my Arkansas photo.
The southeastern part of Missouri, that little piece that sticks down into Arkansas, was pretty much the same. Flat farm land. I took a picture for you to show you what it generally looks like.
For those of you who are not all that interested in farm land, I made sure my bike was in the pictures so you would have a reason to at least glance at the picture.
My route today was not quite what I had planned at the beginning, the route that shows in my Intro. I have modified the map to show my actual route so far, and to show my anticipated route over the next day or two. My original plan was to go through Indianapolis, but I already did that in my F-150 a week ago. My plan at the moment, and that can change on the spur of the moment, is to go a bit south of Indianapolis. Earlier I thought I would go north of Indianapolis, but I have decided what I want to do tomorrow. There is a certain town that I plan to go through. But, I will not tell you right now. You will have to check back tomorrow.
For the past two days, when I have been riding mostly older country roads, I have been taken at how often a railroad is beside the road. You saw this yesterday in the picture I took for Cees showing a railroad crossing. I took another today just showing the railroad track running along the road, with a big tree in the middle of nowhere. It looks like the tree is in the middle of the railroad track, doesn't it. The constant railroad beside the road reminds me of my Route 66 Ride where there was a railroad beside Route 66 most of the time.
After all the farm land and garage sales, I finally entered the Northwest Territory, here's a sign that welcomed me to Illinois. I'm surprised that the sign does not mention that Illinois is part of the Northwest Territory.
Here's the bridge I crossed, I wanted to get the picture from the other side, before crossing the river, but I was unable to find a place to take a picture.
And this is the Mississippi River looking south from the Illinois side. Illinois graciously provided an area where I could take these pictures.
Actually, I think it was the city of Chester that provided the lookout. So, why does Chester proudly provide this spot? Here's their welcome sign, just beside the Illinois welcome sign.
There's even a statue of Popeye, with a plaque.
Here's the plaque up close.
In the past two days, I have been at three birthplaces. Elvis. Piggly Wiggly, And now Popeye.
I wonder what's coming next!