Day 15: Hickory Haven Campground, Keokuk IA to Stealth Camping near Quincy IL, 36 miles

Hickory Haven Campground has one of the nicest shower buildings I’ve seen yet: not only is it bright and clean, it has HEAT!

Crossed back into Illinois today, not much to say except to mention the endless headwinds.

I stopped in Warsaw IL at the Main Street Cafe, where the owner (a fascinating guy) made up for the food. And they have wifi. I had a bacon-cheeseburger (of course) with fries. Besides lacking in the flavor department, it was small, so the second round was a patty melt, which had a semblance of flavor thanks to the sautéed onions. They had “coffee”. No comment. The owner was a fascinating guy, and kept me there an half an hour past close (2pm) talking instead of eating, and let me spend another half hour blogging after that while he cleaned up. He recommended taking the back road into Quincy (that I was planning on taking) saying it was quiet and smooth.

I went across the street to stock up on a few groceries at Pa’s Market, and then spent half an hour trying to cram my few purchases into already-full panniers. The owner came out twice to talk to me, and also recommended the back road into Quincy that I was planning on taking.

The twice recommended back road was indeed quite quiet, smooth and scenic. I cranked through 15 miles of it in an hour despite the headwinds, making ample use of the “reference frame accelerator”, my 48 tooth (largest) chain-ring.

Sun setting behind the clouds

Cockpit view of endless gravel roads and telephone poles

I made it about 6 miles shy of Quincy, when I saw a sign for Bear Creek Public Use Area. My Army Corps of Engineers brochure said it featured primitive camping, and it was only 3 miles away, so I turned and endured the pounding from three more miles of gravel roads.

When I got “there”, there was no “there” there. Climbing up on the levee with my binoculars, I thought I spied a duck blind near the only flat area. Not wanting to be down-range, I hauled my bike a third of a mile down the levee towards it. It was empty, so I set up camp as far away it as possible, right next to the levee, and made myself comfortable for the night.

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