Day 41 Spilled Milk

We left Muscatine, Iowa before dawn and followed a nice bike trail to the Mississippi River bridge. The bridge was constructed in 1972 and had a small shoulder. This was the fifth and final time that we crossed the Mississippi.

We had a stiff wind out of the South that became stronger as the day got hotter. Our route was mostly Easterly with a few Southern segments.

All of us have been bracing ourselves for the flat lands of Illinois. If you look closely you can see the curvature of the earth.

Using the latest technology you can experience what it is like riding next to a cornfield. Grab a bottle of your favorite color of Gatorade and make this video full screen. For the full experience heat your Gatorade in the microwave until it is about 80°F.

Watch for a couple of hours and you’ll get the idea. Here is one of our fans who watched the corn go by for too long.

Farmers are harvesting like crazy. We saw more combines than we could count. They are amazing machines. Watch this one devour the soybeans.

You can also get a sense of how hard the wind is blowing from the video. Speaking of wind, we passed by several wind farms. This wind turbine had some sort of attachments on its blades. We didn’t see any other turbines like this. Maybe it is a prototype?

Tonight we are staying in Henry, Illinois. Our hotel overlooks the Illinois River. At tonight’s restaurant we were asked if we were “loopers”. We learned that people take their boats from the Great Lakes, down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, into the Gulf and up the East coast and into the St. Lawrence River. The distance is ~6,000 miles and they usually take a year to complete the loop. It sounds like an adventure! Maybe we could trade our bikes for a boat?


  • Muscatine, Iowa to Henry, Illinois.
  • Distance: 119.2 miles (192 km)
  • Climbing: 2807 feet (856 m)
  • Temperature: 63 – 84°F (17 – 29°C)


Believe it or not but Henry has a art garden!

3 thoughts on “Day 41 Spilled Milk

  1. Had iced tea while riding by the corn fields. It is amazing and beautiful to see the massive fields of corn & beans and the monsters that harvest the bounty. The engineering that created the harvester machinery is also amazing. Looking forward to the elevation change in tomorrows ride. Very impressed with your schedule.


  2. Just heard about your ride. Friend/former classmate of Herb’s. Your combine post reminded me of a ride I took recently on the Great River Trail, IL side. Just east of east moline the trail is perched atop a levy and runs by the John Deere plant. That day there were hundreds of those magnificent machines parked in their ‘lot’. The trail is too narrow there and was too busy at the time to stop and take a photo, but the view of that field of combines was certainly impressive. Another memory that just popped into my mind when I was reading about your ride was actually of your mom. I remember seeing her riding along hwy1 north of Kalona and being thoroughly impressed that ‘a woman of her age’ (have no clue how old she even was at that time) would be such an avid rider. Seeing her on her bike may have inspired me to continue riding. I also remember admiring her bike glove tan lines and think of her sometimes when I sport my own, and i do so Proudly! Safe riding to you all.


  3. Hey Al, Kathy wanted you to know that she grew up 15 miles south of Henry Illinois and that you are in the midst of God’s country.


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