Well, I'm at the point where I need to pack up the laptop and start strapping stuff to the bike. I'll have my phone on for most of the rest of morning, but after that it's getting turned off. I'll probably be turning it on once a night just to get any new texts and check e-mail (if I have data coverage), but other then that, there's not going to be much easy way of getting in touch with me.
I've taken the last proper shower I'll probably have for a while, slept in the last real bed, had my last shave and washed my hair for the last time. At some point, once I'm sufficiently rank during the trip, I'll probably spring for a campground for a night, if not only for the showers. I'm debating if I'll be shaving during this trip; might just let the adventure-stach go and see what I look like (Well, I know I'll look silly, but that's the point)
The plan today is to head southwest, mostly following the Illinois river to Poeria, then west to Quincy and following the Mississippi river south. Don't know if I'll make it to St Louis today, I'm not aiming to burn the sort of miles that I've had to for my shorter trips. This time around, I'll be taking more breaks, and if something is sufficiantly cheesy and touristy, probably doing it (When I was in Northern Michigan I actually passed a sign advertising that this one place had been the source of, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, the largest cherry pie in the world, at something like 40 feet across. I'm kinda sad I didn't stop at that).
I'm not taking my Olympia Phantom neon yellow suit; Given that I'll be spending most of the next month in the south, I'm making do with my Teknic vented jacket, kevlar-lined jeans and a Nelson Rigg rainsuit. Not as much protection as thePhantom suit gives, but will be much more comfortable once I'm in the hot and sweaty south.
So, I'm off. Lets hope I make it out of this in one piece.