Last night in Eminence we slept without the rain fly over the tent. What a cool thing to do, sleep in the tent with no rain fly blocking your view! The top of the tent is all netting and when I woke up in the middle of the night, the full moon was directly overhead! That made me realize how long it has been since I have seen the moon! At least at night! We go to bed so early, I have missed seeing it! It was a great night's sleep, you could really feel the air cool down and make it so much more comfortable for sleeping.
This morning we loaded up on ice water and some breakfast at the Sinclair station before taking off. Didn't want to overeat, trying to ride up the tough hills we knew were ahead on too full of a stomach isn't much fun. The Sinclair had a great little deli that made us fresh breakfast sandwiches and one for lunch. Off we went!
The morning was maybe the coolest we have had in a long while. Almost looked like rain but it didn't, the clouds kept a great cover over the sun keeping the temperature down and there was a lovely breeze as well!
We managed to get over the last of the worst when it comes to Ozark hills. Just a few more but not as bad as what we have encountered. I believe the locals play a little game with cyclists, probably because the first thing out of every cyclists lips are "those Hills!!!" which inevitably brings a twinkle to the eyes of the locals and a curl to their lip as they say, "well wait till you see what's ahead!" I am sure they compare stories about the reaction of the cyclists! I don't think they were as bad as we were led to believe, which is a good thing, right?? Driving them every day may not give you an accurate description for what a cyclist can expect. The ride was definitely a sweaty and challenging one, but this time we had lots of the fun rollers in between.
Our first little town of Ellington, we stopped for a bite to eat in the first cafe we came upon and rested awhile. The town offered a cyclists only hostel to stay in, but that meant our day would have been a grand total of 26 miles. It didn't feel like we should stop so soon in the day, so I convinced Mike to ride on. The next town of Centerville had a sort of B&B'ish style of accommodation, even tho the phone said it was disconnected, we headed out. The same thing happened with the lodge in Everton, the phone number had been changed and looked how well that turned out, so I was optimistic! And if nothing else it had camping in the city park. We took a chance.
Well, the B&B'ish house was definitely closed. As was the only restaurant in town! It wasn't looking too good so far! There was a gas station/convenience store and that was our first stop! Susan sent us to the Courthouse and Sheriff's department across the street, camping was allowed on the Courthouse Lawn! The 911 call center for several surrounding counties was also on the property and was open all night and we could use the facilities (i.e. the bathroom) all night! Always something unique to experience!
Showers? no showers, but if you follow this road just down yonder is the creek and you can have a swim!
It all worked out very well! Lovely soft green grass for our tent, protected by ancient huge trees providing the most refreshing complete covering relief from the sun. A quiet little community surrounding the courthouse square in the middle. Not much left of the town really, except the library and the gas station! But there was no shortage of people around! We hung out in the library most of the afternoon, letting us charge our lights and devices while we hung out in the air conditioning. The librarian gave me huge books on the State Parks of Missouri and Roadside attractions! There could be worse ways to spend a quiet afternoon!
The library closed and we moved to the courthouse lawn, set up camp and had a picnic dinner, sort of like we did on one of our first dates! I frequented the convenience store looking for additional fun things to eat. In anticipation of having something ready for breakfast the next morning, I asked Susan if she had any hard boiled eggs. "No, but I can make you some!!" And she did! Fresh farm egg! How sweet is that? Susan was my entertainment for the evening, she was full of interesting conversation! She advised me to take a walk down to the old mill because it was just so pretty! It was used as their source of electricity until very recently. Sorry, can't remember the date. The old mill was beautiful, just as she had said it would be. So peaceful and secluded, it would be easy to fall asleep listening to the running water in the shade of the huge trees, Where is the hammock when you need it? I can just imagine this little community in its prime. Even today, the remaining residents were all such a tight community, (I met several as the each had their daily visit to the store!)
We set up our tent again without the rain fly to try and keep it a little cooler at night. An interesting perspective on night life looking out! By time the sun went down and all the community lights came on, it was like daylight! The library was lit, the streetlights, the spot lights in the courtyard lawn on the flags and war memorials and last but not least the pop machine on the outside corner of the courthouse! We felt invisible looking out, at 3:00am someone had to get a pop from the machine! Really? The quarters dropped in and immediately dropped out of the bottom not engaging so he could get his pop and leave. This had to be done 3 or 4 times. The guy must know the routine otherwise why would he have stuck with it! Must have been his 3:00am habit! Loud trucks and vehicles seem to prefer racing thru this area in the wee hours of the morning, or is it just more noticeable at night? But we did manage to get some rest!
Despite our original apprehension upon arrival, it all turned out great!
Thanks for checking in!
PS . . .I have gone back to the Eminence Entry and added some more photos if you are interested!