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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 19, 2007      Miles 41      Total miles 2875      Ended at: Houston, Missouri


I went to bed around 10:00 last night and had just fallen to sleep when I heard a loud bang. I was sleeping under a tin roof pavillion in the city park. There are only 600 people who live in Hartville but I thought maybe it was mischievious kids throwing rocks. It happened a couple more times and I got up with my flashlight to see if I could see anything. It turned out, there was a huge pecan tree overhanging the pavillion and pecans were falling on the tin roof and they sounded like rocks. I got up this morning and it was very overcast and fairly cool. I went to a local cafe and had a big breakfast and answered all the inquisitive people about what would possess a sane man to ride across the country. The roads were not as hilly as the past couple of days and there was little traffic.

Here are a couple more mailboxes which amused me.

I didn't get the names of the three guys on the left because there was so much traffic we could hardly talk across the road. They are riding from Wisconsin to Texas and seem to be making a party of their trip along the way. I told them I don't like to take a day off from riding and they said, "Heck, we took five days in a row off to party!" Rory O'Callahan, on the right, met up with them and is going to ride with them to Springfield where they will part company. Rory is from Ireland and has ridden all over Europe, rode a tour of South Africa, and is doing his first cross country tour of America. He said the Americans are definitely the nicest he as met.

This is an old one room school house out in the middle of the countryside. It was started in 1915 and is well preserved in the middle of a wheat field.
This is John and Beth Peters from Seneca, South Carolina. They are both retired bankers and are doing their second cross country trip. They are both riding Cannondale T-2000 bicycles and his has over 10,000 miles on it.
I thought I had a closeup picture of Greg and Sue Crawford. I asked Greg how he got off work for three months and he said his company is very generous and allowed him to take this trip. His coworkers took up a collection for him to help with his trip and his boss matched the donation of all his coworkers. They are planning to camp out in Bendavis with John and Beth tonight.

On a tandem bicycle the rider in front is called the captain and the rider in back is called the stoker. Greg mentioned something to the effect about the one on the back being a back seat driver and Sue says she prefers to be called the rear admiral.
A couple of river shots outside of Houston, Missouri. The kids on the right were having a great time swinging from a rope on the tree.

For the last couple hundred miles I had been told to stop at the Houston Motel when I get to Houston. This was from at least five different riders. When I got to the lobby I was greated by a very cheerful Eya who promptly offered me either an ice cold beer or ice cold water. I told her I needed something to guzzle and took the water. After drinking hot water it was soooo refreshing. My wife sent me a package so I rode over to the post office to get it. When I returned there were three other bikers here and Eya offered to take us all to the river above on the right by the bluff. The others went for a swim and Eya and her husband, Pony, asked us to eat with them at 6:00. She picked the others up at the river before 6:00. They set up a picnic table out front and we feasted on pasta with homemade sauce, fresh salad from their garden, garlic bread, and Corona. It was so good and I had three servings just like this.

I don't believe a cyclist could find more gracious and accomodating hosts anywhere in America than Eya and Pony. Pony has authored 12 different books on horse handling and is world renowned for his horsemanship and horse training and bringing people and horses together as a pair. His first book sold over 150,000 copies.
This is Bryce, Tristan, and Henry. They are all graduates of University of Vermont and knew each other in college. They are riding across America raising money for cancer research. So far, they have raised nearly $10,000 and hope to raise more and also find someone who will match their funds to donate to cancer. After we ate tonight we all went over to an ice cream shop and ordered large milk shakes. What a great way to end a great day! Check out their web site at www.coasttocoastforhope.org