Highway 50 2017

Day 05

June 20

  Well, from here for the next nine days will be solo, but it's not my first rodeo.  
  Somehow the sign overhead - 'Begin Only - West 50' sort of spells out the rest of the trip for me.  
  It's a long lonesome road but I don't mind my own company. Me and I seem to get along quite well with very few arguments.  
  My brain finally kicks in and I remember that I usually get a bad case of 'busted' lips about five or six days into a ride from windburn. So the first open drugstore I see gets my ChapStick business. Since I now have to visit a dermatologist once a year for a full skin inspection, I try to be better about using sunscreen and lip protectors. Having places cut off and burned off is not very pleasant to say the least.  
  With that bit of business transacted, I'm out into the fields of golden something or other again.  
  I find as I travel Highway 50 that most every small town has an interesting public square and ...  
  some other interesting stuff. I guess you have to have rocket shoes or a step ladder if you want to get into this truck.  
  I've heard of living close to your work, but this may be taking it a bit too far. At least there's not much yard to mow ...  
  In Bedford, Indiana I see this lovely mural right at the turn for Highway 50.  
  Once I'm out of town, I'm right back to some twisties which suit me just fine.  
  Then it's across the vast farmlands of the state. Indiana reminds me a lot of Tennessee when it comes to the lay of the land and such.  
  In Barr-Reeve, I pass another interesting church and again wonder if that is real gold or not.  
  Soon I'm crossing over into Illinois, pronounced Illinoi not IlliNOISE.  
  In Illinois, they also have some might fine looking farm places ...  
  interesting old bridges ....  
  and strange looking trees.  

Every time I go by one of this massive cultivators I always wonder if I could ride under that thing. However, I ain't apt to try as the end result could be less than pleasant.

  I see what appears be an old abandoned school house. Sadly in this day, I'm afraid education has abandoned a lot more than the school houses.  
  Soon I'm in another small town called Salem. It looks much like the small towns I have already passed through and will pass through in the coming days.  
  And as is usually the case, there is a neat looking old building perched in the downtown proper.  
  My stomach is telegraphing my brain to see if my throat has been cut since there has been no nourishment sent that way in quite a while. Since there's not much around, I figure Hardee's does a pretty good job with biscuits so it will do.  
  Once inside, I decide I'll go for the big one and get gravy and biscuits, bacon and eggs. It turns out to be pretty nice for no more than it costs and it sure fills the empty spot.  
  And it sure makes an empty spot when I'm done.  
  But the highway waits for no man, so I'm back to what I came to do. Along the way, I see a very visually arresting pattern in this harvested field. I don't quite understand the purpose but it sure looks nice.  
  Then it's by another small town and another interesting old house.  
  But as Highway 50 does from time to time, it hooks up with the interstate for a little while. I wish I could find the original road in cases like this, but that would require state highway maps for the 50's and 60's if you could find them. I did find a scanned 1926 map that gave me some ideas that I built into my route.  
  As I travel the slab, I cross over into the state of Misery ...err Missouri.  
  Finally, it's off the slab and back to the two lane which I like a lot better. You just don't have all the crazy traffic and road noise out in the country.  
  And along with the quiet, you usually get some nice bends thrown in for free.  
  As I travel, I always get a chuckle out of some of the clever treatments of water towers. This makes me wonder just where is my cue stick.  
  And with that comes time for another break. Since I'm by myself, I tend to stretch out the time between stops to be more of a function of when I need fuel.  
  With Frost and me fueled, we're back to the business at hand. When I pass these fields, I think of this as 'hay before and hay after'.  
  Fortunately, I am able to whizz right through St. Louis without any major problems or issues. Large cities tend to cause traveling heartburn if you hit them at the wrong time of day.  
  Then it's right into Kansas ...  
  and right into major traffic. But I know at this point I am fortunately not that far from my stop for the evening.  
  Before long I am mighty glad to see this sign.  
  There's a Perkins next door so I've got supper and breakfast in the 'walking bag'.  

They've got a cod fish special for supper, so that works for me. I tell my server -

"Please bring me two glasses of ice water. It will save you a lot of steps cause I drink like a thirsty camel."

She does it and a little bit later after another refill, she exclaims -

"Man, you do drink a lot. I'll just bring you a pitcher."

With supper dispatched, I waddle back over to the motel. Tomorrow I've got almost 600 miles to cover with not much of it Interstate. Perkins opens at 6 AM so I plan to be there when the door is open for an early breakfast. I catch up with emails and such and then pillow my head and am a quick casualty of the action.