A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Thirty-nine: Monday 6 August 1990

Sycamore Motor Lodge, Havana, IL to Keokuk, IA

Today, I leave the East and the Old Mid-West behind and enter the Louisiana Purchase. When I reach the Mississippi River, I stop mid-span on the bridge crossing it. I stare down in to the muddy depths. I gaze northward. I take in the works of man that attempt to control the river. I reflect on the influence of this river on the character of America.

Finally, I finish crossing the bridge. I leave the East and enter the West. I am nearly halfway to my destination. I have passed an important milestone, one as important to me personally as the one that occurred when I left Virginia.

Keokuk, Iowa looks abandoned. Riding up Main St, I mostly see boarded-up, closed stores, or stores with going-out-of-business-sale signs. This town has seen better days.