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By Kini Johnson
The Great River Road is one of America’s best drives, but did you know that it’s a great route to explore on a bike as well? Cyclists from around the world explore the Great River Road for good reason – it’s a route that travels through the heart of America, following the course of the mighty and iconic Mississippi River. Visitors who travel by bicycles along the Great River Road are not unheard of and sometimes those cyclists who seek adventure end up meeting someone from Calhoun County.
Kini Johnson had an interesting day on Oct. 21 as she had an opportunity to meet Kevin and Scot who have been traveling by bike. According to their Facebook posting Johnson learned more about them and their stop in Calhoun County, “We continue down Hwy 96 for another 18 miles or so. We have the winds in our favor and make good time. The road follows along a bluff so there are really no hills. Hwy 96 then turns east and the wind is now a crosswind. We still make good time but are working our way over a bluff. Hwy 96 stops at a town called Kampsville on the Illinois river. From there we take Hwy 100 south until we reach Pere Marquette. We ride into a town called Hardin where we will cross over the Illinois river. As we ride in, a car pulls up beside us, the lady asks where are we from?” Scot replies that he is from Tennessee, and Kevin yells out “Go Vols!”
Johnson asked them lif they were doing this for a cause or something. Kevin replied “no, we are doing it just because we can.”
Johnson said she wished the two well and drove off.
The two continue riding into Hardin and find a little store where they take a short lunch break. It is a little after 1 p.m.and they just have 15 miles to go. While they were there Kevin and Scot ran into Johnson again. Small world?
“ I am across the street getting a picture of a tug running up the river. When I get back to my bike, she comes out of the store. She had been talking to Kevin in the store. She mentions she would like to have a picture of us, hoping to submit it to the local newspaper. She gets her picture and I direct her to the Facebook page that my sister Sharon updates for us. We find that she is called Keeney. We say goodbye and head to Pere Marquette.”
They end up at the state park a little after 4 PM. They check in and then head to the tent camping site. There they find out about the cabins and spend the night there.
According to their posting from Scot, “He asks me what I think of renting a cabin for the night. It has heat! These are small two-room cabins that can sleep 6 people. It isn’t a lot more than what we paid for tent camping so we rented a cabin. Now the low tonight will be 75 degrees, not the low 40s,” he said. “ Of course, we had to break camp and pack things before getting in the cabin.
The Great River Trail is a multi-use experience and cyclists like Scot and Kevin will have a chance to see many more exciting towns like Kampsville and Hardin as they continue on their journey. If anyone is interested in their journey you can go to their Facebook posting Kevin and Scot’s bike journey and see where they have been.