The forecast today was for a hot and steamy day with a heat index near 110 and winds out of the west. While it was plenty steamy, I don’t think it ever got as hot as forecast and the humidity dropped as the day went on. If the wind did come from the west, it was so light that I couldn’t tell. I think it was actually more from the south.

When I crossed the Illinois River, the terrain became much hillier and reminded me a bit of eastern Connecticut. The climbs were not particularly steep, but some were pretty long. The change in scenery was kind of nice.


The site of a town founded by Mormons when they fled Missouri.

Based on the forecast, I thought a short day to Pittsfield would be all I could handle. However, I made it to Pittsfield by lunch. Even though it wasn’t as hot as forecast, my clothes were completely soaked with sweat. A local man who bikes every morning started asking about my trip. He sees bicycle tourists passing through sometimes, and has always been curious but never asked any of them about it. I asked if there was any campground or motel between Pittsfield and Hannibal, because Google didn’t show anything. He told me about a hotel in Barry, IL, about 15 miles down the road and gave me some cold water. A part of me tried to rationalize staying in Pittsfield, but after being diappointed with myself on Saturday, I decided to push on to Barry. I figured, even if I ride slowly in the heat and take several breaks, 15 miles isn’t too far.

Courthouse in Pittsfield.

The afternoon kind of became a search for shade as I stopped twice to cool off. The hotel in Barry is an old ice house that a couple converted. This is prime deer hunting area, so most of their business comes from deer hunters. Tonight, I think I may be the only person in the hotel. Since the hotel used to be an icehouse, there is only one room that has a window. That is not the room I have. It’s an interesting limestone building, but it’s odd to be in a hotel room without a window.

The Icehouse Inn

There is a road sign just past the hotel that says Hannibal is only 19 miles away. That should be a nice short ride in the morning. I am not sure where I am going to go after Hannibal, so need to look at my maps tonight.

3 thoughts on “Icehouse (July 18)

  1. Re: the hills in western Illinois. I remember the first time we drove through Iowa. There were all these hills with rows of corn going straight up and down the hills. I wonder if they’ve converted to contour farming. That was when you were a baby.
    Re: the hotel without a window. You should have felt right at home. The guest room at the Sunflower didn’t have a window and I remember how people used to go in there and sleep so soundly. I suppose because of no light and no noise.
    I expect you’re going to be encountering some really tough weather for awhile. It’s going to be over 100 degrees here for the next 3 days. It will “test your mettle!”


  2. Looks like you’ll be here before too long. We look forward to seeing you again and hearing about your adventures in person!


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