The morning ride took us to Ste. Genevieve in search of the Moduc ferry. The MRT route was really well marked - we were thrilled to see trail signs on a regular basis, because they really have been few and far between until this point. Unfortunately, the road was not the best for cycling as the shoulder was very narrow, with a drop on one side and rumble strips on the other. It was quite a white knuckle trip as we twisted and turned, climbed and dropped our way into town.
|MRT and Great River Road signage|
Ste. Genevieve is the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi and you can see a strong French Canadian influence everywhere. We took our time walking the town and soaking it all in. The town has done a wonderful job preserving and sharing it's colourful history. We enjoyed lunch at an outdoor cafe and met a great couple who were on a motorcycle weekend trip. They gave us some terrific camping and route tips.
|Historic Sainte Genevieve - Mississippi River Trail|
We were a bit shocked to learn that the flood gates protecting Ste. Genevieve had only been opened a week ago, the highway had been flooded out and the ferry had been closed. We feel like we have been putting luck to the test, so today we made the decision to leave the MRT route for a while and head inland along the Trans American trail out of Chester. We are wanting to connect to the Natchez Trace Parkway and eventually catch up to the MRT in Natchez. It will add a few extra miles to our trip - how hard could that be?
|Flood Gate protecting Ste. Genevieve - Mississippi River Trail|
|Loading dock - Moduc Ferry - Mississippi River Trail|
|Enjoying the Moduc Ferry - the "french connection" between Missouri and Illinois|
|Brutus and Rob - Chester, Illinois|
We felt back at home when we put our wheels on Illinois soil. The farmers were busy in the fields, cars gave us lots of room and random strangers would ask if we needed water....that friendly Illinois vibe. As we pedalled our way through the countryside, we experienced simultaneous allergy attacks. Our eyes swelled up....almost to the point of being closed shut and we started sneezing.. Quite the experience - we looked like creatures from a horror movie by the time we ended our ride.
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