Motorcycle Trip Across America 2014 – Day 22: Blowing past St. Louis towards Eldon Hazlet State Park

Post dedication: this post is for my students. They haven’t received a post dedication yet, so they deserve one. They’ve taught me so much, and hopefully I’ve taught them a few great things as well. I’m looking forward to returning to work in September! Woke up late today, due to a really comfortable night’s stay in the hammock. Having a campfire until 1am didn’t help either. I took a quick shower and hung out by the pool for a little while. A woman was interested in my journey, so I talked to her and her daughter about some of my adventures. I love sharing these experiences with people. Today’s goal is to head to Eldon Hazlet State Park in Illinois. I’m really excited to check it out. I got gas, oiled the chain, and stopped at a diner called Frankie D’s in Lebanon, MO. Great place. Food was delicious. I’m just charging my phone and an external battery a little before I head out. I also want to start heading east as the sun gets overhead. It is very annoying to drive with the sun in my face, which is why most of my driving out west stopped after 3pm. Now, its the oppppsite and I need to leave at a later time every day to avoid the sun beating on my face. Even sunblock can’t completely stop the brutality of the sun.

Arrived at Eldon Hazlet State Park around 4pm. Beautiful place. Upon arriving I got a waterside camping spot with electricity for $20. Awessome! I set up my tent and hammock. It might rain tonight but I have high hopes for using the hammock. The view is gorgeous.

IMG_2014080619533You can see the hammock in the background.

Currently grabbing dinner at The LuBar and Bistro in Carlyle. This is a really cool town. It has a ‘small town’ feel yet is appealing to tourists and visitors camping. I think i made a good choice staying here.

Im just waiting on a catfish sandwich and sweet potato fries. I can’t wait!

It was delicious. IMG_2014080633977 I’m going to spend the rest of the evening just hanging around the campsite on the hammock. Its supposed to rain tonight, so we’ll see how it goes from here. I’ve been finding a lot of joy in just losing track of time, replaying the trip in my head.

I found a nice little paradise on this manmade lake. I’m sitting on the rocks, which are still emanating heat from being cooked in the sun, admiring the gorgeous view. I can see it getting progressively darker.



I soon figure out why the loss of light is happening so rapidly… there is a huge, dangerous looking cloud approaching fast.IMG_2014080627533



It looks like a 100-story tsunami wave about to crash over the land. In a way, its very similar. You can see the entire sky light up from lightning. Thunder is loud.

Its too hot to sit in the tent. I’m going to sit outside until the rain, or at least some cold air, arrives.

Within 30 seconds I’m soaked. Time to hide in the tent all night. Every minute or so the entire tent illuminates from the lightning. The walls of the tent flashing from a dull yellow to a full illuminated tent are really cool.

The rain gets heavier and heavier. Wind hasn’t been crazy yet. The thunder and lightning has calmed down. A huge flash every five or so minutes arrives with a delayed and muffled crash of thunder. Sounds like the storm is moving away.

At least the motorcycle will be clean in the morning.