b'Day 57JULY 24Sleep ends with the gates clanging, forklifts beeping, and soft drink bottles clinking together as they are loaded by pallets onto idling trucks. I stare up at the nylon ceiling of our tent. Ok, I say to myself, I know this means I am camping. Just need to figure out where.I unzip the door to the tent and peer across the field to the Centralia Free Methodist Church on one side of us and the Coca Cola bottling plant on the other. The plant is buzzing with activity and workers pause momentarily from moving the hand-trucks of stacked bottles to peer over at us as we collapse the tent and stuff everything we own into the panniers of our bikes. Before we can reach the road, the Pastor invites us in for breakfast. His house is eerily quiet. We eat and talk about our trip and the Pastor inserts an occasional good Lord and by the Grace of God whenever he can. As we depart, we ride eastward and he wishes us well. Five hours and 65 miles into our ride, over a mostly flat, straight, and empty road, we stop for lunch at the Outpost Caf in West Salem, Illinois. Emilie writes: A group of men at the Outpost Caf tell us about a guy who rode his horse to California from West Salem. We always have a way of getting the lunch crowdPast the historic courthouse in the center of town, and then beyond a playground on going. One of the men, Eddy Gillard, picks up the tab for our meal.the outskirts of the eastern edge, we come upon a firehouse. A few firemen are relaxing After 20 miles we cross over the Wabash River and into the state of Indiana, the roadoutside, one cleaning the headlamps on the truck. We stop to say hi and ask about food narrowing as we pass through thick groves of trees.options in town. Almost in unison, they say, DCs Family Restaurant. It is a sunny, cool evening. We travel 10 more miles and enter the town of Princeton,Even though going to DCs will take us back into townand we have already traveled Indiana. 98 miles on this day (our second longest yet)we decide we must give it a try. DCs is a simple roadside burger joint and the owner, Dick Clark welcomes us into his restaurant, apparently the pride of Princeton, Indiana. Going eastward out of town for the second time, the firemen see us riding by again and want to know what we thought of DCs. We talk, and with the sun going down, they ask us if wed like to spend the night in the firehouse. The fire chief supervises us as we lay out our sleeping bags in two roomsthe TV room and rec roomon the first floor. I want to make sure you two have your own separate rooms, he comments, and then proceeds to tell us he is on his fourth marriage. We sleep well in the Princeton, Indiana firehouse that night; there are no fire alarms to disturb us. BEGIN: Centralia, ILEND: Princeton, INDISTANCE: 98.96 milesTRIP TOTAL: 2,864.57 miles49'