Wednesday June 10, 2009, 35 miles (56 km) – Total so far: 1,344 miles (2,163 km)
At least it seemed that way this morning. When I woke up, it was raining, so I turned over and went back to sleep. The weather radar, when I woke up again, looked like it would blow over, so we went next door for some breakfast. Some motels have better continental breakfasts than others…
Well, the rain did end, but when we started, it was like we were riding through roads where the rain had just ended, the humidity was 100%, and the sun came out while the temperature was rising slowly, and the humidity stayed the same because the road, the trees, and the grass were all saturated with water. Huh, that’s what was happening! Made it tough to get enough air, especially since we were climbing from the first stop sign.
But it is beautiful country. Pretty decent roads (Missouri uses letters instead for numbers for at least some routes), and the terrain was like the Appalachian foothills. I can’t say for certain if this was real Ozarks, or just their foothills, but the rollers were great, the climbs weren’t too bad (grade or length) compared to southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky, and it was pretty, and quiet. I didn’t really count cars, but I do think we had less than one car or truck in both directions per mile for a good stretch.
I noticed these roads were built when farmland was worth something. Route B west of Coffman, for example, skirts the hills, while the farmland at the center of the valley was untouched. Made for more hills on the road, but I think that’s the way many roads used to be built, instead of taking the interstate right down the middle of the fields.
We passed, and re-passed, another cyclist riding from Carbondale to Pueblo. I think we are riding faster than this her, but we take more breaks. Still, we have Appalachian-conditioned legs, so I suspect we’ll lose her sometime this week.
From the top of the last ridge before we got to Farmington, there was a magnificent view. It was better from 100 yards back up the hill, but I was too lazy to go back.
Into Farmington, where they’re making a real effort to welcome cyclists. We had our choice of staying at two parks, or the fire station, but opted for (yet another) motel for the internet (yeah!) and indoor security. We’re under a tornado watch as I type this, but it’s off to the… You know, the real problem with being in an unfamiliar state is that, when they tell you where a tornado was spotted, you have absolutely no idea where it is in relation to your location!
Virginia has an inhaler tonight, which should insure the rest of the trip is trouble-free. I don’t like asthma, as I can’t do anything about it, and she usually has attacks six months after her inhaler has expired and been thrown away.
I paid money to access the internet from the Farmington public library (the only time I had to do so on this trip)! I updated the journal while Virginia was looking for a doc-in-the-box to get her asthma medicine. No luck; the librarian didn’t even know what “doc-in-the-box” meant, but she had some contacts who helped get her in to a private practice.
The weather’s supposed to be better tomorrow, since the stationary front that’s been parked on top of us is supposed to move down (before it comes back). We’ll hit the high point on the Ozarks tomorrow, and see how it goes from there.