|Another great day!! 98% of it was way better than anticipated!! In fact I would go so far as to say it was almost fun in the rollers! We got another early start and it was almost cool enough to say " I might put a jacket on!" Crazy! It seems as if the extreme heat has broken for awhile and we can get on with the trip! The hills rolled up and down, but as I say it was almost fun as we pedaled hard to get as much speed up as possible; down the first dip at full speed and usually enough momentum to propel us up and over the first hill, then down again for a short burst and up and over the next one! And so on and so on! Sometimes they got a little more challenging but nothing to complain about and the day once again was beautiful and cooling with a heaven sent breeze!
This is great and reassuring! I can admit now, the first day we rolled into Missouri, that horrible first day of roads that were stacked like walls, falling off my bike and sauna like temperatures; I had found myself really discouraged and seriously questioning if I was going to be able to continue! Thinking we would spend a week in Missouri struggling with these horrible conditions might just do me in!
The first good thing that kept me going was meeting Gail and Tom and having them invite us to their lovely comfortable home! Their infectious positive, expiernced biker attitude helped me out the door the next morning! To get back on the road and find despite the terrorizing view of the topo map, the hills really were within our ability and not as discouraging at I had let myself believe! So I am back on track! Two days (well most of the 2 days) have been great! It helped to have the temps drop a bit as well!
The first exciting thing (and probably only thing today!) was coming up to a rider going in our direction! We haven't met many cyclists in the past few days and can't even remember the last time we came across someone traveling in our direction! Phillip recognized iwiK, my NZ Kiwi mascot who sits faithfully on the back of my bike, as the Kiwi he is! That could only mean one thing and by his accent I guessed he was from NZ!! He is from Nelson on the South Island, and we had lots of things to share and talk about! We all rode together for several miles and then parted ways maybe meeting up again on our trip there! He is travelling and camping where ever it suits him,mostly in a forest or field as he stops when he is tired! I am not that rugged, but we are going to enjoy the comforts of our tent again this evening!
One more thing about Phillip, with his information we can put an ending to one of our previous stories! Remember the horrible attack dog in Ordway that actually bit Mike's pannier bags and put 4 holes in it? Well, the same dog actually bit Phillip on the leg. He called The authorities and the sheriff arrived. The owner came out and tried to tell the sheriff that Phillip had fallen off his bike, the dog was not responsible! Phillip was taken to the closest hospital in LaJunta Colorado for examination, compliments of the local Baptist Church and put up in a hotel while the dog was isolated for rabies. The sad ending to this story is the dog has been put down. Very sad for so many reasons, mostly attributed to the careless ownership of the humans. This dog was well known by cyclists going iin both directions.
I mentioned today was 98% fun! The tricky part showed up between Ally Springs and Eminence MO. We are in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways area. Beautiful rivers and heavily wooded ridges and valleys. A very busy area as people come to camp, fish and float on the Riverways. We had to climb to the top of the ridges, the grades don't look as awful as the haystack roads of the first day, but they are tough! Really really tough! Friends that we met earlier Gary and Rob wrote about it in their journal. Gary was a real numbers guy, logged his elevation gained and the grades of the hills. He said some of these hills are 10% to 14% grades. But we got up them!! Sweating, shaking and exhausted at the top, but we did get thru! Again, they go up, flatten out for a minute to give you time to recover and then go up again and again!
And then they go down! And then repeat it all over again! We ended the day on a huge downhill but are only too aware that there are 3 more of the same crossings before we get to the next town 30 miles away. We are saving those for the cool of tomorrow morning.
We have set up tent tonight in a campground right near Jack's Fork River. A spring fed, cold, clear river. The campground is . . . A campground in serious need of some TLC, not like FBG RV Park at all! Kind of hard to believe since it is such a popular area for boating and floating. But we had a nice shower, the owners are very nice and hard working and once again we have to accept not everyone lives the same way!
A walk into town to have dinner and use the WiFi so I can keep up on my blog! Back to camp and put our feet in this beautiful river! Can't not go in, although I know its really cold and I just can't do cold water!!! But we will see!
Thanks for checking in again! Hope you all had a great weekend and a blessed day!