Illinois

e made it to the Mississippi River on September 9th, crossed at a town called Chester, and were then in Illinois. The farther we rode, the more meticulous I became about planning and confirming every detail of the route. We wanted to be sure we were choosing the straightest, shortest, and safest route possible.

Some days we spent as much time scouting and talking to local residents as we did riding. Some scouting trips brought us in as late as midnight; then we needed to prepare for a 4:00 or 5:00 AM wake-up call. It was raining every day now.

On September 11th, despite the rain, I covered 38.4 miles using both horses. We were going to try this extra distance every fourth day. Joyce wrote in her journal. “At this pace we will be in D.C. in no time flat.” She mentioned the date, October 15th. Not exactly (no time flat) when you’re in the saddle.