29 April 2008

Trail of Tears

Last night's motel really was bad - it was only $30 but the bed cover had moth holes in it, there was a giant spider in the bath which I killed quickly, the TV barely worked, when I turned the lights out I could hear scurrying sounds suspiciously like cockroaches and the shower didn't even work having killed its protector!

I got up at about half six and hit the road soon after on the way to Elizabethtown. After 10-12 miles down a gravelly track more than a road, I made it onto what is known as "The Trail of Tears". Back in the early 1800's when American settlers headed west into Illinois, the Native Americans (Red Indians to us Brits) were progressively shifted off the land. In 1839 about 14000 Cherokees were kicked out and forced to move 800 miles to modern day Oklahoma through this part of Illinois. Short of food and held up by floating ice in the Mississippi, over 4000 of the Indians died, hence the name Trail of Tears.

Anyhow, history lessons aside, I had a tasty breakfast in Elizabethtown at Ms Lizzy's restaurant which was pretty much in the front room of their house but all good. The ride to Eddyville was good apart from one monster of a hill which spoilt the ride a bit and then I headed on for the last 30 miles or so to Goreville.

I pitched my tent up here in Ferne Clyffe State Park with a few giant wasps dive bombing me, and then had to repitch it about 20m away when I stepped back onto an ants nest which aggravated them somewhat. Winding down for a dull night with a book and a stick of beef jerky, I got chatting to a couple with a dog who were walking by, who invited me over to their trailer (giant motorised caravan thing) for dinner. They were a relatively young retired couple called Nick and Christina Daley from Ann Arbor Michigan with 3 kids in work or University and seemed to be enjoying life with an empty nest. After some good eating and some chat I have headed back to the tent in the dark which was scary with some of the creatures that probably live out here and am off to bed now.


Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your ride and just wish you could spend a few bucks on a better sort of motel.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy...I just found this today as I was looking on justgiving for people sponsoring NACC...what an adventure! very jealous!

your blog has come as a welcome distraction from revision for exams I haven't even started revising for haha! any chance you could put the date on your blogs when you write them?

Hannah :)

p.s - no pics of yourself on your bike?! sort it out! :P

Andy said...

Miles - that is the plan for tonight!! I'm excited about a comfy bed!

Hannah - I need to find some people to take my photo whilst riding first. Will change the date thing now. I had put it like that to help me remember what day it is as you really lose track out here with no weekends to speak of...