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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 17, 2007      Miles 49      Total miles 2804      Ended at: Marshfield, Missouri


I was pretty wiped out by the heat and humidity yesterday and when I got to the city park in Ash Grove, I took about an hour nap on one of these table benches. When I got up, Ian Rees was coming over to the pavillion where I was. He rode 110 miles yesterday, coming from the east. He had been riding with three other guys he met along the way but they decided to ride their bikes down to Springfield and Ian decided to call it a day. He lives in Boulder, Colorado where he is going into his Junior year at the University of Colorado as an electrical and computer engineering major. He is originally from north Georgia. We were both tired and called it a night before 10:00 last night. We got up around 6:30 and went to a local cafe where we had a big breakfast and bid our farewells. Ian is a very bright young man and he gave me all kinds of tips about the trip to the east coast. He is supposed to meet up with those three other guys somewhere in Kansas.

I have decided to lower my mileage while in Missouri, at least until I get past the Ozark Mountains. I should start into them on Tuesday. They will be a real challenge in this heat and humidity. I have found if I just take it easy and take plenty of breaks I do a lot better. I am drinking vast amounts of water. It probably wouldn't hurt for me to drink some Gatorade as well. I didn't see any cyclists on the road today. When I pull into a small town, I like to get a cold Mountain Dew or ice cream bar. Someone will nearly always make a comment about my bike or ask where I am going. The people in Missouri are very friendly. The dogs are not kept penned up like they have been in all the other states. I got chased by several today but none of the dogs were actually going to bite me. They were letting me know I was too close to their turf.
I am not the only one who gets hot out in the sun. I don't know if you can see the cows in the farm pond in the picture on the left. I have seen a lot of cows standing in water through out Kansas too. I like the spotted cows.

Missouri is big in the "Rails to Trails" program where old railroad lines are converted to hiking, horseback riding, and biking trails. This trail goes from Springfield to Bolivar and is called the Frisco Highline Trail. Its one way length is 35 miles. This particular trail looks more suitable for mountain bikes but they have a trail called the Katy Trail which is several hundred miles long and has a smooth surface. I may ride it some time in the future.
Ol' Blue had never seen a 1961 Chrysler Imperial before. There was a car that passed me today with a license plate which said XKUZME.

I like this old barn. There were seven turkeys in the group but they took off pretty quick when they saw me.

... and the roads just get hillier and hillier. The thing about the hills in this area is they just go up and down all day but they aren't like the mountains out west which go up and down but just keep going up and up and up.