Joe's blog

Day 31

Day 31 51 miles to Chester IL. Missouri is finished, no more Ozarks. Today's ride had enough hills so that I was tired when I got here. Toughest hill was from the Mississippi River up to the town of Chester.

Around 9am I got hit by a thunder and lightening storm and looked for cover. Pushed my bike up a driveway and under a carport. Nobody home, so I settled in until the rain let up. The lady who owned the house came home as I was getting ready to leave and was happy that I had been able to use here parking area for cover. Nice people everywhere. 

Day 30

Day 30 - got up late on purpose and finished yesterday's ride to Farmington - bonus on the place to stay - converted jail with conditioned space on the second floor, washer/dryer use for $2 including soap. Funded by a guy named Al who ran a Long John Silvers restaurant and was a biking enthusiast.

Another ribeye with salad foraged out of the refrigerator from food left behind by other cyclists.

Another restful day and all of my laundry smells good. Tomorrow on to Chester Illinois, home of Popeye the Sailor.

Day 29

Day​29 started with a wet tent from the night before. I didn't batten down all the hatches as I should have and a fine rain blew in on the windward side. I was dry on my air mattress, but everything at floor level was wet or damp. I moved to the covered pavilion to wait out the storm where I met two families cooking breakfast under the roof. Both offered to feed me and I enjoyed a big upgrade from my Raisin Bran and water that I had at 6 am.

Day 28, Mile 1068 to

Day 28, day 27 was a much needed rest day. 

Much anxiety about hills this morning, I actually set the alarm an hour later at 430 am. On the road just before 8 am to discover that Hwy 21 before Centerville apparently had been reworked to new standards and now has a maximum grade of 8%. Very much like riding in the Rockies except more oxygen and much more humid. This lasted until the Hwy M turnoff for Johnson Shut Ins Park. Then the grades got a bit steeper, but within reason and none very long. 

Day 26-27, Mile 1040 to 1068

Day​ 26 - 28 miles (45 km), 1500 ft gain (770 m) doesn't seem like much until you factor in 10-13% grades on most of the hills. Slowly I learn to ride these, hope my legs catch up before I wear my shoes out from pushing the bike uphill.

At the peak of the last climb I met Paul Raynes who has been living up there for the last 27 years. He walks up to the hiway from his house when he wants to make a cellphone call because there is no signal at his house. A different set of priorities in life.