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Published: July 29th 2016
Old Gas Station Near Searcy, AR
There are many of these old places still standing and put to other uses.
Since it is about 600 miles from Chicago to Heber Springs, AR, we planned to break the trips down and back into two legs each way. I have found that trips of about 300-350 miles are about the optimum riding distance in a day. When you ride the byways rather than the super highways, it always takes longer to get where you are going, but that's kinda the point of road trips, seeing all the little towns and countryside.
Our destination for today is Carbondale, IL in the far southern portion of Illinois. This area is called Little Egypt because of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at the southernmost point of the state of Illinois. I think it's because of the similarity of the delta to that of the Nile River Delta in Egypt. In any case, I love this portion of Illinois, having spent a few years here going to Southern Illinois University. This part of the state is farther south than some of Kentucky and it is totally different than the rest of the state.
The countryside is hilly and and heavily forested with many lakes. Much of Little Egypt
is within the Shawnee National Forest. If everyone had a couple more days, I would have suggested staying in Carbondale for another night or two because there is a lot of fantastic motorcycle riding here. If it weren't raining lightly and threatening to rain harder, I would have taken a more winding route to Carbondale from Cairo, but the weather wasn't cooperating. So a further exploration of southern Illinois riding will have to wait for another trip.
All day today throughout Arkansas, the Boot heel of Missouri and southern Illinois, it was threatening to rain heavy with thunderstorms in the vicinity and we put the rain gear on a couple times, but never had anything but a light shower, nothing like the thunderstorms heading down to Heber Springs, so we were quite lucky in that regard.
After checking into our hotel in Carbondale, we went to the Pinch Penny Pub for a nice supper at the bar where I could watch the White Sox beat the Cubs...SWEET!
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