Hank – We got up early and hit the road by 7:00 am. The plan was to ride 60+ miles to Springfield, Missouri. Instead of taking the back roads and punishing ourselves like we did yesterday, we decided to follow MO Hwy 37 from Cassville to Monett and then take US Hwy 60 to Springfield. Both roads had shoulders and the climbing was way more gradual than what we endured yesterday.
We barely left Cassville when we came up on a traffic accident. A cop was on scene and nobody was seriously hurt, which is surprising given the condition of one of the vehicles. And an 18-wheeler was missing two tires on the left rear. The rims were there but no tires. How does that happen? After Kathy learned her nursing skills weren’t needed we threaded our way through the debris and continued north.
We had cloud cover for most of the day and even a sprinkle of rain for about 30 minutes. All the severe weather was north of us. We were happy not to be dodging thunderstorms. We still had 90% humidity but since the temp stayed in the 60s it was much more tolerable. We had a town to stop in every 7-12 miles so we had plenty of places to take a break. I found one Missouri license plate today.
When we stopped in Republic we met a gentleman named Stan Williams. Stan is a cyclist and was interested in our touring. He said his barber was retiring soon and wants to ride across the country. We gave him one of our cards so his barber could check out our adventures and maybe gain some knowledge from them. Stan also got a card for himself so he could follow us, too. It was a pleasure meeting him.
Kathy’s sister, Mary Beth, and her husband, Tim, live in Plato, Missouri just south of Fort Leonard Wood. Tim, met us in Springfield with his pickup truck and hauled us to his house. He saved us the two days of riding it would have taken to get there. Now we have more time to spend with them. Tim is the person who got me into making home made instruments like the Diddly-Bow and Cigar Box Guitars.
We’re going to hang out with Tim and Mary Beth for a couple of days. Then we go to Illinois to visit many of Kathy’s family members.
Kathy – I didn’t sleep well last night as my stomach was pretty upset from dinner. Don’t know how tortilla soup could make you so uncomfortable but it did. Oh well, we suck it up and ride even when your tired and not feeling too well. With that said, I was not looking forward to today’s ride so it was just a matter of keeping a positive outlook and getting the ride done.
Our views today in Missouri included seeing lots of farmlands, cows, horses, donkeys and lots of dead animals on the side of the road. I enjoyed seeing different signs in small town America like the, “Quick Gun” ammo and gun sales store, and the lawyer’s billboard stating, “You may be guilty, but they have to prove it, call us to help” and lastly the “Good Night” cemetery was a real thing and amusing to see.
Our 62 mile ride included lots of hills. Just so you know about our climbing, we went up 23 significant hills and 14 other hills (not that anyone is counting 😉). Hey, we were actually in the saddle riding for over eight hours today, that leaves a lot of time just to see and think about stuff. 😄 And in case you needed a legend just to know the difference: a ‘significant climb’ is 1/2 – 2 miles of climbing in our lowest gear, and ‘other climbs’ are 1/2 mile or more of climbing not in our lowest gear. The nice thing about climbing 37 hills is we had 37 sweet downhills to go along with it. Loved that part of it. 🥰
We have had some tough days lately with lots of elevation. Getting though the miles is just like anything else in life. You celebrate the small successes as you go along towards your long term goal. For me I focus on getting to the next town 10 or so miles away, resting and/or replenishing the body then moving on to the next town. Next thing you know we have 62 miles done and it’s time to celebrate meeting the daily goal (include a refreshing drink here). We persevere through these daily goals because they eventually will lead us to our 50 state goal. I hope you think about your goals in life and celebrate your small successes as you move towards them. 🌺
It was very nice of Tim, my brother-in-law, to come pick us up in Springfield, Missouri so we didn’t have to ride the last 72 hilly miles to their farmland in Plato, Missouri. My right knee is pretty sore after all the pushing down on the pedals with climbing the past week or so. Happy to have a little time off the bike to rest the knee up.
It so wonderful to see Tim, my sister MaryBeth and their son Alex. They are really awesome people and fun to hang out with. Their home is very welcoming and super comfortable. Looking forward to some downtime hanging out with this great family. 💗💗💗
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