Devils Kitchen Lake campground to Chester, IL - 64 miles
As a group we decided to beat the heat and Kevin sounded the wake up alarm at 4:45am. It was barely light out when we hit the road toward Carbondale where we would enjoy breakfast at Mary Lou's. The ride into Carbondale, home of the Southern Illinois Salukis, was great with cool temperatures, sunrise skies, and the Devils Kitchen Lake within view. The stops were short and sweet as we all wanted to beat the heat and arrive around noon. Our first stop was at the Gorham post office for a quick drink and bathroom break. We rode along the Mississippi river levy for a while before stopping for water roadside just before Cora, IL where coal was being loaded onto a river barge via an over the road conveyer belt.
We arrived in Chester IL - "The Home of Popeye" and headed to The Ol' Farmhouse Cafe & Bakery, Craft & Antique Shop for our midday feast. We then visited the town library and headed over to our campsite for the night which was in the backyard of the Chester Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The Eagles were also hosting a rodeo for the night which made for quite the entertaining evening filled with yummy pizza, cold drinks, horses, and bull riding. Hopefully tonight wont be as hot!