Day 16: Stealth Camping near Quincy IL to Mark Twain Cave Campground, Hannibal MO, 51 miles

Mostly headwinds and knee pain.

The morning got an early start, at a quarter of 6, and I’m glad it did because the rain started coming down just as I finished cooking oatmeal. Thankfully I’d left the tent up, so I had a dry place to eat. The shooting started around 7 with the rain, and I was on the road as soon as the rain started to let up.

Second breakfast, picnic style

Short on water, I had to postpone coffee & 2nd breakfast till around 11, when I found a cue little city park with all the amenities a cyclist could want: a pavilion for cover from the rain, picnic tables, running water, working electricity and bathrooms on the other side of the parking lot.

From there I chased the front the rest of the day, staying just ahead of the clear skies and warming sun. It didn’t really matter, because the winds never let up. The road changed directions enough at one point that the headwind became almost like a tailwind, but that was short lived as I took a 20-mile detoured around I-172 (bicycles prohibited) and the last 12 miles to I-72 (bicycles allowed on rightmost shoulder only) and Hannibal were almost but not quite excruciating.

When I finally got into downtown Hannibal I had to contend with it being 4 on a Sunday afternoon. I finally found an open restaurant, Treadaux Pizza (sadly no beer, sign to the contrary), and destroyed a 14″ pizza.

It was getting dark, so from there I headed for the nearest campground, Mark Twain Cave, conveniently situated on the wrong side of a 400 foot climb. As luck would have it, I arrived 9 minutes after the office closed. So much for attempting to score a late-season bargain (the website said something about closing November 1st). On the up-side, they have wifi, a heated bath-house and a coin-op laundry. Still not sure it’s worth the $19/night, but the state of my knee deemed it worth the price of not to have to go any farther tonight. Unless it’s feeling better, I’m probably not going to make it back over the hill into downtown Hannibal to see the Mark Twain museums before leaving town, either.

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3 Responses to Day 16: Stealth Camping near Quincy IL to Mark Twain Cave Campground, Hannibal MO, 51 miles

  1. Tamara B. says:

    At least you’re finally in warmer terrain. That should help.

  2. Too bad we’re heading in the opposite direction of you — we’ve been heading up the western side of Missouri this week, toward Omaha (going to take the Amtrak further west in search of warmer weather & to be able to move into Central/South America when we need to) — would have been nice to meet you on the road on our way through MO.

    We’ve been experiencing some nasty headwinds too (on your tail wind days!!), not fun. And tomorrow, calling for rain/snow so we’re taking the day off in Shenandoah, IA.

    Hope you get some warmer weather heading south! Happy Travels.

    ~Kai & Sheila

    • Sean says:

      Thanks Kai & Sheila!
      Too bad we didn’t cross paths, it would have ben nice to meet you two in person. I’ll be following along on your blog.
      Wishing you warm weather, smooth roads & keep the rubber side down!

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