Given the events of Foggy Day 1 and Steamy Day 2, meeting PAC Tour in Litchfield would not be doable.
First order of business on Day 3, this my day of recoup and regroup in Bloomington, was a bike ride to the Library to plan my route to Lincoln where I WOULD meet up with PAC Tour to ride the last 3 days of their eastern half of the Route 66 Tour. One of my learnings from my several years of self-guided touring is to remember to build in "cush" time to manage through the occasional unplannables. Without some cush-time, the unplannables will, indeed, bite you in the kneecap. The events of the last couple of days definitely fell into the category of unplannables.
Google on the Library Computer found me my route to Lincoln, the local Starbucks, and the Verizon Store; all my needs can be met with these 3 finds.
Sipping a Chai Latte on the Starbucks' patio on the corner of Washington St. and Veterans Parkway when 19 y.o. Barrista Jason, on break, sat down at my patio table to swap bike and riding stories. His longest ride is 50 miles; he rides a vintage Schwinn. He's a tiny little guy whose smile is twice the size of his whole body. He'd easily make weight as a Jockey for sure. His big, fawn eyes went dreamy imagining what it would be like to have the freedom to ride the country. Fun to be a part of planting a dream in a young'n's heart.
Off next to the Verizon store and served there by Andre, a 48 y.o. born-again Christian, 6-months retired world-class, professional body-builder wrestler and inspirational speaker. My B parked in his store gave him license to swap stories about the mental aspects of our sports. Check him out on YouTube. He sold me an iPhone with a ballistic proof shocking pink case. Not sure I need all that protection, but right now I'm practicing being willing to accept help.
With Tuesday as a Recoup and Regroup Day, I was ready to roll out of the Bloomington La Quinta and say farewell to Paul, the proprietor, and his 2-week-old baby girl on Wednesday, Day 4.
I am not a fan of Cracker Barrel, but that was the only restaurant within walking distance of my La Quinta. Another thing I've learned is I need animal protein especially the morning of a long ride or when on multi-day tours. So, stopped at Cracker Barrel with my loaded B for a carry-out order of a couple of sausage patties and met Todd, a local business man, who was interested in where I was going, my route, whether I'd ridden in the Madison, WI area, his hopes to do so, etc. We must have spent 30 minutes pouring over maps, and his making call after call to city hall and the parks dept trying to figure out where I could pick up the trail to Shirley, IL.
I left Bloomington in perfect weather, Thank You!--warm, breezy, pure sunny delight. Even found the path Todd had worked so hard to find for me, but with no thanks to the folks who answered his calls at city hall or the parks dept.
Stopped in Atlanta, IL at a service station and was nearly to Lincoln when a 16 y.o. on a BMX trick bike rolled up along side of me; he'd been chasing me down since Atlanta. He'd never seen a recumbent before and just had to see it up close and personal. Satisfied, he turned around a rode back to Atlanta.
A most sweet conclusion to Day 4.