Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 27, 2007 St. Louis, MO

Today was supposed to be a short ride into St. Louis, only 48 miles. Well, we are not sure if the cue sheet was wrong with mileage or if we all took a wrong turn but it ended up to be a 60 mile day. Fortunately it was on flat lands because a lot of us were tired from yesterday's hills.
We began the day with a three mile ride to the ferry landing to take the ferry across the river to Illinois. Here we are waiting to board.

And on the ferry.
The ferry was scheduled to leave at 9:00 but left 10 minutes early. Jenna was there in time for the 9:00 ferry but not for the early departure at 8:50.

Never one to miss a photo opportunity, here I am in front of the first Illinois marker I saw. Illinois is our sixth state.

A close up of the poppies by the road sign.

Modoc Rock Shelter
This area reminded me of the Dordogne region where Greg and I bike with our friends Rob and Lee. It even looked the same.

In Randolph County, Illinois, the rock cliff at the edge of the Mississippi River valley was undercut by Ice Age floods. The undercut section of the cliff provided shelter from wind and rain, and Native Americans took advantage of it at least 9,000 years ago. The Modoc Rock Shelter, as it is called today, was used by Archaic hunting and gathering peoples who relied on nearby flood plain and upland resources. Over 28 feet of sediment in the shelter contains artifacts spanning more than 6,000 years of prehistory.

How did 28 feet of dirt end up in the shelter? The elevation of the Mississippi River flood plain has increased over time. Each time the river floods, it transports dirt eroded upstream and deposits it downstream. Over the last 10,000 years, the Mississippi River has been slowly filling its valley. The change in flood plain elevation also affects Mississippi River tributaries, which also deposit dirt in their valleys. As a result, over time, dirt has slowly accumulated in Modoc Rock shelter, burying the remains of previous occupations.

Based on an analysis of artifacts from the site archaeologists discovered that 9,000 years ago, the rock shelter was used for short-term camps by small groups of hunters By 6,000 years ago, Modoc Rock Shelter was used for a long-term base camp by several families involved in the activities of everyday life. Four thousand years ago, the shelter again was used by small hunting parties.

Fellow rider Mary and I could not resist these adorable critters. We both wanted pictures for our grandchildren. Unfortunately no other riders stopped to take pictures and it took miles before we were able to catch up with the group again. This was potentially a problem because there were major errors on today's que sheets. A word to my grandchildren...enjoy these pictures!

We are staying at the Adam's Mark in St. Louis. Because it is difficult to set up our mobile kitchen in the parking lot we had dinner on Woman Tours in the dining room. Here is a sample of what was offered. OK, I admit there was food other than deserts but who cares?

1 comment:

triathleteb said...

Your grandchildren loved the pics! Sorry they left you out in 'no man's land' for awhile, but the pics really are fun!