Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 21: St. Robert to Springfield MO (90 mi)

I started relatively late (9 am) to avoid the rain, but the clouds cleared and gave way to a beautiful ride through the northern Ozarks. Gentle climbs, sweeping views made for one of the best days yet. The last 20 or so miles were really flat, aiding my slow fatigue. I arrived around 7 pm in Springfield with a half hour to spare before the sun set.

My hosts tonight are Doug and Rae. They're both lawyers, avid cyclists, and have three rescue dogs. Doug's an amazing cook.

Chicken, polenta, roasted veggies, salad, and prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe... an absolute feast after a long day's ride.

The two have completed many tours in Europe and the U.S., and gave me some great info about what to expect during the upcoming weeks of riding. Apparently in New Mexico it is free for cyclists to camp in any state park.

The truth is that I have yet to find a host within 100 miles west of here; I may stay an extra night in Springfield to rest up, clean the bike, and scour the web for potential hosts and/or camping spots. I will give up a beautiful day to ride, but I bet that staying will be more beneficial.

Gone are the numbered county grids of the midwest. Now I mostly find double-letter state roads, though I have yet to study a map to see if they're arranged in any particular pattern. That would make 676 possible roads using this system, but I have a feeling that the state chose to skip roads like NO and EW. Just a hunch.

I made them unplug their microwave before entering the gas station. If you're exposed too long, the government uses the wavelengths to send secret messages to your brain.

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