I think I'm done now...maybe. It is 9:30 pm on June 3rd. I'm at a 24 hr laundromat in Chester, IL. I just did a load of horribly rancid biking gear, and feel much better about myself.
Morning: Wake up in Elliotville on the hostel cot, Jeffrey from Germany starting to move about as well. Jeffrey is on his second tour - his first was from Germany to Barcelona. Muy interesante! His English is passable, though there is a noticeable language barrier. Good on him for making the journey solo. He also started in SF, but did a detour to skip highway 50 and Utah. Sounds like he spent time in Vegas, then jumped to Pueblo, CO. Ahhh just livin' the life.
Throughout the day, Jeffrey and I kept running into each other. I would pull ahead, and whenever I stop for water/food he would be in 15-20 mins later. Great guy, but my inner rower was screaming at me to not let him get any "overlap" after I had already got open water. My final goodbye to Jeffrey was around lunchtime. Happy trails!
I ran into a quite large group of cyclists doing a TransAm tour set up by the Adventure Cycling Association (the company that sold me my maps). They piled into the diner I was having breakfast at in Centerville, MO. One guy in particular seemed quite distressed that I made the jump (early in my trip - days 1 to 4) from SF to Carson City so quickly. Sorry dude!
By evening, I reached the raging Mississippi River, and the home of Popeye the Sailor Man - Chester, IL. Another state down. Bye Bye Missouri, I won't miss your land of Oz.
Now...how to find the city park from here at 9:30 pm...maybe laundry could have waited until the morning? Nah. Just follow the yellow brick road.