The North is a much friendlier place than I had become accustomed to at the beginning of this thing. On June 3, a young man pulled his car over alongside us as we rode and offered to buy us food. We accepted, and he found us about a mile up the road with food and drink.
The most exciting part of the quest so far has been our night in Cairo, IL, one of our nation's few explorable ghost towns. Most of this city, which once held 15,000, is unlocked and abandoned. Some unfortunates still remain, surviving on government check or employment 75 miles away, but anything peripheral to the highway has been left at entropy's mercy. A couple restaurants still remain, a trickle of highway traffic their life support, situated alongside rotting motels with doors ajar and vines growing through the ancient tiling.
Christopher and I spent our night here in a folk-punk label's commune/coffee shop, the living space of which is an old Knights of Columbus ballroom. Friendly collectivists.
This morning we're in Piedmont, MO, writing from the public library. We've been here a couple of days, as I picked up my first round of food poisoning ever from a local chinese joint. I'm 20 years old today, so I suppose I have to ride like a man from here on! Tomorrow we meet our third.