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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 18, 2007      Miles 30      Total miles 2834      Ended at: Hartville, Missouri


I stayed in a motel last night and when I got up at 6:30 it was raining. I ate a simple breakfast and went back to my room. I checked the weather on the internet and it called for thunderstorms all day with a chance of hail. I decided to rest today and went back to bed. I got up at nine o'clock and the sun was shining. So, I decided to ride afterall. The roads didn't seem as hilly as yesterday and the temperature was just right although it was very humid. I knew I was going to get rained on after about 25 miles but there was nothing I could do about it. I thought it would feel good but it was a cold rain and it came so fast that I didn't put on my rain gear because I was already soaked. I did stop at a country home and asked the owner if I could take shelter under her carport and she said, "Sure." When it stopped raining I rode five more miles into Hartville and knew it was going to rain again so I decided to get a bite to eat at a local cafe and wait out the rain. The cafe had a lunch buffet and it was very good. It rained again and again. I sat on my bike under some awnings on main street for an hour. I asked someone if there was a city park with a pavillion and they said yes and gave me directions. So, here I am at Hartville in my tent but dry. It was a short riding day.

There were several signs along the road which read, "Horse Drawn Vehicles on Road." I figured I might be in an Amish area. The houses and farms didn't look any different than others in the area. When I came upon this man, he was beating this horse. The horse was attached to the wagon and was rared up on its back legs. The man got on the wagon and started riding.

As I pulled closer to the house, I saw two fairly young women harnessing these work horses. The man had just pulled his horse and wagon near them. I asked if I could take pictures and the man said, "The horses. You can take pictures of the horses. You girls stand behind the horses." I took a couple of pictures as the two girls and the man stood out of view. Before I left, I asked them what kind of horses they are and they said they are Belgian. Of course, this whole scene makes me wonder about their entire way of life.

I think the area I am traveling through is just beautiful. Nearly all the back roads I have been on have had an abundance of wild flowers. I expect they must have been planted by the state or county as a beautification project because the flowers are mainly between the roads and fences and not throughout the surrounding fields.
There are a lot of beautiful old barns in need of repair but there are also a lot of huge barns which are kept up nicely.

I am high and dry now and I hope the weather clears overnight. It has hardly rained since I set up my tent and I could have ridden more but I didn't want to get my last set of dry clothes soaked. I have no cell phone signal and no internet access, so I'll have to upload this later. There is electricity in this pavillion.