Continuation of part 1.
Update: the company truck that ran us basically over is called County Fuels owned by Greg. We called and talked to the owner and he said it was our fault and that he doesnt need to move (Missouri state law DOES say motorized vehicles do need to give cyclists a safe distance aka move) and lied about the shoulder. Sir, I’m biking your roads, I’m pretty sure I know how big the shoulders are.
Day 31- July 1st
We left at our normal time of 8 and went to Hartville, 64.74 miles away. We had some major climbs, but it wasnt until the end that was difficult. The hills at the end are always rough because you’re tired and its usually hot. Though this day was quite pleasant. We climbed 3753 and descended 3713 feet.
We stopped at this convenience store for a cold drink and lunch and the man working knew we were biking of course and rattle off some numbers- “you have (stated mileage) to Astoria and (stated mileage) from Yorktown.” I don’t remember the mileage anymore, but I was about 2600 and 1400 respectively. He has had so many bikers that he decided to look up the mileage and tell us as we go.
We ate lunch inside and a nice young family sat down next to us. The little boy was very cute, maybe 5. He asked his parents if they could buy another chainsaw then later he asked if he could ride a farming equipment with his dad. Clearly we are in the country. We talked to them for a bit then headed out.
We made it to Hartville and went to the town hall to ask about camping in their park. Because we didn’t have showers the day before, we really wanted one. The city park didn’t have showers, but a nice man offers his machine shop, which had a shower and restroom, to cyclists. We biked back to his shop, about 2 miles back out of town. He told us we can pitch our tent anywhere in the grass outside the shop, which use to hold a house, but it burnt down.
The porch was still there and it appeared the house was quite lovely. He made sure we understood it was a machine shop, but we just cared about the shower so we didn’t mind. He was really nice. He served in the Marines and we thank him for his service (thank you to all the military members!!). We set up our tent and, I assume, the man’s dog kept us company. She was quite timid, but wanted to be petted. For example, she approached us and put her head in our laps to be petted, but her tail was in between her legs as if she was scared. She brightened after a few scratches behind the ears.
We then went to Subway and enjoyed a footlong….each. After biking so much, we have to replenish and a footlong definitely does the trick! But while we were in there an older woman walked in and promptly said, “you are the bikers.” Of course it was obvious as we were all sweaty, but she proceeded to tell us that she wanted to host cyclists and how big her yard was to camp and that she would offer shower, kitchen, and with a tiny donation laundry. She talked to us for 30 minutes until her husband came back with a flyer.
She was really nice, but talkative. She’s a mile West of town. We rode back to our tent and took showers and watched the sunset from the porch.
Day 32- July 2nd
We got rained on. We put our bags in the machine shop the night before and it was fine until about 4 am when the rain started. Around 5, I could feel water dripped and the floor being wet. Then Dad sat up and said “I’m wet too!” So we quickly packed up our sleeping gear and the tent. Luckily it stopped raining at this time. We were ready to go at 6 am, but the clouds were making us feel uneasy. We stopped at the diner in town for breakfast and watched as it downpoured.
I’m really liking biscuits and gravy!!! The second to last racer came in for his breakfast and we talked for a bit then we headed to the barber shop so Dad can get a haircut and then the racer showed up. He said he’s shooting for less than 40 days to finish, which to the other racers, is considered touring and not racimg, but he told us of the guy in last place who is going to take months. Either way, great for them for doing it, fast or slow.
We headed out and stopped at Marshfield for their library and lunch. The weather report was scaring us, but the actual clouds seemed to be disappearing. We had lunch at El Charro Mexican place, which was great then continued on to Fair Grove about 44.04 miles. It was a shorter day due to how far apart towns were and such.
The over all climb and descent wasn’t as bad as previous days at 2411 and 2450 respectively. At this point our tial mileage is 1536 miles. We stayed at the city park, which had a pavilion (great if it rained) and showers! We pulled all our wet things out to dry and took showers.
We were soon accompanied by an awesome woman from Switzerland! She is going East. She has done other bike touring, which impressed Dad as he wants to keep touring after this. So he was asking her questions about her experiences.
We waited for the rain to pass then we three went to dinner at the diner.
These small towns are so interesting. A town like this only has about….maybe….1,000 people. Some places we stayed has less than 500 people.
Day 33- July 3rd
We woke up around 5 am and started packing. Around 6, it started raining. We tried waiting it out, but by 8, the Swiss woman said it’s now or never and left. That gave us a kick in the butt and mustered courage and headed West. We definitely got wet, but after a couple of hours it stopped raining.
We stopped in a small town for lunch and proceeded to take a nap outside the Dollar General store. We woke up to rain drops and quickly went on our way. The terrain was hilly again and in combination of rain and wind, it was not pretty. There were tears. Everything was wet on our persons. Luckily our bags held the water out.
We made it to Ash Grove and sat under a park pavilion contemplating what we should do. Our original plan was to do 60 some miles to Golden City. Who should bike by was one of the Georgia men from earlier, see previous post- part 1. He said him and his buddy had a condo and we could join them. He was kidding about the condo, but it was a house given to cyclists to stay in the park. We rode across the grass and entered the house behind him. There were cots, a kitchen with a lot of supplis, and a shower. We had decided to stay after 33 miles. A real short day.
We got there at 1 pm and by 3.30 it had stopped raining. The boys went to play disc gold in the park and asked us to join them for a spaghetti dinner later. We agreed and then went to the store to dessert, salad, and bread along with other items. When we were all together again we talked about mutual biker acquaintances and travel stories. They were very funny.
Day 34- July 4th
America’s birthday! We watched the weather, but it seemed to have finally stopped raining.
It was a great ride for the majority of it. Flat with some inclines. We were riding average 13 mph. Some places we were doing 17. However, near the end of Missouri, it became hilly again as if to say you can’t leave without punishment. We just wanted flat. We have never been so happy to see the Kansas sign.
I saw a live armadillo, but it ran away before I could take a picture.
We eventually made into Golden City where Cooky’s diner is famous amongst the biking community. It has like 30 types of pies. I was so excited, but as we reached town I feared it was closed for the holiday. It wasnt!
Our waitress has had so many bikers. They have logs from the different years. We added our name. Everything was delicious!
We continued on and finally entered Kansas after seeing Highland cows! They are quite cool looking!