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Day 23 – Popeye and the Eagles

(45 miles)

Laura served us up possibly the best breakfast I have had in years – strawberries and yoghurt, muffins, bagels, tea, cereals, etc. I genuinely didn’t want to ever leave! But we had to get on our way as it was supposed to be getting hot again today.

Uh-oh!

Gone with the Wind

Joy of joys – we had a tailwind for the first time in ages today. The first 20 miles of our ride flew by (except for the 15 mins spent following my first flat of the trip). The last 25 miles were more hilly, but overall a relatively simple day’s riding. Given our quick progress, we were amazed to discover that Parry had still beaten us to our destination – it didn’t seem possible, until we learnt he’d just taken the main road which was about 10 miles shorter and flat all the way. Matt reckons that’s cheating.

Arriving in Chester and looking for our overnight accomodation, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, or FOE (nope – still haven’t worked out what they are exactly!), we were faffing with our phones trying to work out where this place was when a big scary looking chap walks over to us and asks us where we’re headed. Turns out he was a member of the Eagles and immediately proceeded to drive through town slowly in his pickup-truck for us to follow him to the FOE. Goes by the name of Kyle.

Kyle - he's a big softy, really!

Our bunkhouse at the FOE

Chester is apparently the home of Popeye (the sailor man). But you all knew that already, I’m sure. They don’t seem to have much else to shout about here so there’s Popeye-related statues/murals/pictures etc everywhere.

Popeye - right at home in Chester, IL

I got some more cash out while I was here. Took me two ATMs, two cards and about 9 receipts before the green was forth-coming. Just as well – $10 for the rest of the trip might have been pushing it a bit…

The barmaid at the Eagles bar kindly let us switch the TV channel over to show ‘the important soccer game’ (the Champions League Final) – and we were sorted! Pizzas and beer for dinner followed by an evening stroll into town for ice-cream. Incidentally, soft-drinks were $1.50 with free refills and a 22 oz beer was $2. I may very well move here…

Arriving in time to watch the Champions League Final was a definite PLUS for the day.

Sucks to be < 21 and drinking water. Poor Pat!

Hmmm… I should probably focus more on the leg-aching, back-breaking, butt-hammering, sweat-dripping, sun-scorching, dust-covering, breath-taking cycling instead of the rest of the day. Otherwise y’all might get the idea we’re having fun or something!

One Response to “Day 23 – Popeye and the Eagles”

  1. Sarah says:

    random photo of you! so any updates on the “fraternal order of the eagle”?? what’s that all about?

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