May 6 - 10: Missouri

5/8 - Houston (43 miles 1210 total)
'twas a warm, steamy morning in eminence. most of us had breakfast, packed sandwiches & gorp, & left town by about 7:15. i don't think i've yet mentioned the delicious spread patty makes for us to use on our meat &/or cheese sandwiches. she mixes a can of cranberry sauce (whole berries usually) & plain horseradish. i tried to get proportions, but she says 'to taste.' try it, you'll like it as much as we do.
those hills right out of eminence were indeed plentiful & steep &/or long, but somehow not as bad as yesterday's....maybe because they were at the beginning of a short day instead of at the end of a long one. as yesterday, we often passed signs noting that we were traveling thru the 'ozarks national scenic waterways' area. as yesterday, we often came upon roadside businesses with stacks & stacks of canoes out front. sari & i were wishing we'd had a layover day in eminence so we could have rented one of those canoes & paddled along the lovely rivers & backwaters we noticed while biking.
some of us just don't find biking enough of a challenge. when we came across this outlook tower, patty fainer jumped off her bike & started climbing.
you can see her waving from one of the lower platforms. she climbed up to the base of the little shed at the top but then couldn't get in because the trap door was shut tight.
she reported that the tower wobbled as she climbed & that the view from the top was of....well, trees. a few others who were going to climb up decided that the climb wasn't worth it given the excellent view of trees from the ground.
speaking of patty fainer, we're amazed at--& inspired by--her. to see her tackle the rigors of this ride--always with a smile & a laugh--you would never guess that she had a double mastectomy this past september, then 4 months of chemotherapy beginning in october. she completed radiation treatments 2 weeks ago. now she's riding with us--beginning in chester 2 days ago--& hopes to go all the way to the pacific. she & her husband & 2 sons live in california, so the weather usually permitted her to bike over the winter whenever she could muster up the energy during all those months of treatments. to see her ride now you'd think she trained hard for months. & she climbs to the top of outlook towers to boot! (you can see a closer-up picture of patty in the supper photo on the 5/6 update.)
summersville had earlier been targetted as the breakfast stop by the cafe crowde. it was about 19 miles into today's ride. 'breakfast stop' now means 'pie stop' for sari & me (but only if the pies are home made). for me in particular it means pie & a glass of chocolate milk.
in the photo you'll see sari & me surveying our options at young's cafe. that's wanda, the pie baker, showcasing her just-baked custard pie.
sari & i couldn't resist that one. it was perfect....warm, creamy, & nutmeg-topped. it turns out that other riders are catching onto this morning pie habit. lin had custard pie with bacon...a combo new to most of us that at least gives lip service to the breakfast idea. in fact, by the time we all departed young's cafe, i doubt there was any custard pie left.
after summersville the route became a breeze. there was a stretch of heavier traffic just out of town....quite a few heavy trucks vying with us for a very narrow road with no shoulders. i often just got off the road to let a few vehicles go by. but the heavy traffic must've veered off along the way some place. after that we enjoyed a wonderfully winding, gently rolling, sunny, warm ride into houston. really warm....with temps into the low 90's. most everyone got here by very early afternoon. several stopped for haircuts at a place in town & most all of us scavenged for food at nearby restaurants. at 3 sari & i decided that supper was too far away so walked across the street to a drive-in restaurant. we each had a small malt. sari tells me that she is really getting used to having her own malt, pie, or whatever else we buy at our food stops. she & her husband peter are in the habit--& i mean a habit developed over decades--of sharing one drink or sundae, for instance, between the 2 of them. i think peter might as well start adjusting to the fact that sari will come home from this ride expecting to have her own from now on. i imagine that'll end up being only one example of how this adventure will change lots of us in all sorts of ways.
phyllis' family is visiting this evening...her husband grant & daughter sara from san diego, & son josh & his wife jessica from manes, missouri ... not far off our route tomorrow. jessica baked some fabulous chocolate chip cookies for our dessert this evening; she & josh brot assorted organic greens for our salad from their farm. we enjoyed having them visit & loved their contributions to our supper. THANK YOU!
that's the morris family in the photo...from left, jessica, phyllis, grant, sara, & josh.
at the map meeting after supper gloria told us that the weatherman says a front is coming through & we'll likely get rains & cooler weather tomorrow. those aren't the conditions we'd pick for a 65-mile riding day. we'll hope the weather guy is wrong about at least the rains part.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

This page, and all linked pages, were created on an Apple iMac DV SE running Mac OS 9, BBEdit Lite 4.6, Fetch 3.03, and Netscape 4.7.