Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 23

Saturday, July 30

We slept through the 5:15 alarm (well, somebody turned it off instead of snoozing) and woke up around 7:30. We were on the road in an hour and then, about 5 miles into the ride, Ben's wheel starting rubbing on his breaks. He had just gotten it fixed the night before so it was very frustrating! He got it as straight as he could but within a mile it was rubbing again and he had to just disengage his rear brakes. Those guys at the bike shop can expect a strongly worded letter in the near future!

We took a lunch break at Johnson Shut-ins state park which has a river and waterfalls. We mainly just stayed in the shade and the air conditioned museum.

After a few more hours of riding, the skies grew dark and we were happy that the sun was gone and we might get some rain! But then it started to thunder and lightening so luckily we found cover in a gas station but not before we were completely soaked from the downpour. We stayed in the gas station for about an hour, waiting for the storm to pass. When it finally stopped, we set off with about 20 miles to our campground. After 5 minutes of riding, the downpour started again and there was no where to wait it out so we just rode in the rain until the next town, about 12 miles. When we got there we decided that we were too wet and cold to go camping and the ground was probably too gross anyways. So we called up Herman, with a church in town who lets cyclists stay with him. Herman wasn't feeling well but gave us the number for Wayne who also lived in Elington and sometimes hosts cyclists. Ben called him up and asked if we could stay with him and we were so lucky that he said yes! (later we found out he is on warmshowers but we didn't think to check it first because we were planning on going further) When we got to Wayne and Betsy's house, we took hot showers to take away the chill of wet riding clothes and just hung out. They have three children in their twenties but all are moved out of the house. Wayne convinced us to take another rest day on Sunday so he could take us out in his boat and show us "sights that we would not see anywhere else on our bikes" We couldn't really pass up the offer, so we decided to take the day off. We had a big week and are about 50 miles ahead of schedule so we figured it would be ok to take another day off. We also had a taste of the Ozarks today- a couple we saw coming the other way said today was a good warm up day for the next day. The hills are really steep but not very tall. The highest point in Missouri is about 1700 ft so we really don't have to worry about mountains like we saw in the Appalachians. But, it wasn't too hard to convince us to put off that ride for another day!

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