Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

Southern Illinois has it's own beauty, which I appreciate more coming back from a trip than leaving on one. This photo is from my brief trip off the interstate to explore a bit. The ride was cool and overcast but eventually the clouds started getting spotty and the temperature came up and it was perfect for riding.

After pondering "Kansas or Nebraska?" for a while I had decided to head straight south towards the gulf coast, through Mississippi and Louisiana, then cut back west through south Texas. I've never seen them at all. I love watching the land change, and by the end of the day I'll be in a whole new area, and once I turn westward from there, I'll get to see a whole new way the piles of green upon green will turn into the scrubby desert and high mountain country.

I was fascinated that Houston is only 272 miles from Baton Rouge.

Coming to a stop on day 1 in Cape Giradeau, MO led to a succession of strikeouts (hotel on the river looked like the sort of place people sold crack, a B&B wasn't open) landed me off the interstate at a holiday inn express, conveniently near an Olive Garden. One thing I've learned on these trips is if you don't plan and research beforehand, you are likely to end up staying somewhere boring.

Also, being on a motorcycle makes it hard to plan.

[ tags: corn dmc-lx3 illinois motorcycle travel ]

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