Days 18-21: July 17th- July 20th: Vienna, Illinois to Stockton, Missouri: 344 miles

21 07 2011

The heat index is currently up around 110 in western Missouri and we are currently booked in at a motel for the day; we are switching our body clocks to night-ride through Kansas. We checked in at 7 am after camping and are checking out around 10 pm tonight- then a week-long phase of riding overnight and sleeping during the day will begin. We are in the midst of an epic heat wave: no day over the past week has been under 100 with the heat index. Thermometers that we’ve passed by while riding prior to 8 am consistently registered over 90 degrees- so much for waking up early to avoid the heat!

Due to the heat and repetitive up and down climbing through the Ozark mountain range, the miles were tedious at times to get in over the past few days: we rode 91 miles on Sunday, 90 on Monday, 84 on Tuesday, and 79 yesterday. We had to camp on the side of the road two nights- one being last night when we missed the office of a motel closing by a half-hour. Now that we are about 70 miles away from Kansas and the heat wave is peaking, we are resting and waiting for the night to come- it will be easier on our systems to sustain high mileage on overnight rides. Our goal is to never actually see Kansas and we are hoping that the next five-six nights through it blur into one quick night of riding. We are pumped to get out west in Colorado afterwards!

Missouri had been pretty uneventful up until yesterday when we had two seperate fierce-looking dogs chase us- within ten minutes of each other- we  had falsely assumed that we were safe since we were out of Kentucky. They both looked like the dog from Sandlot.  James used a skillful leg-lift maneuver to avoid being bitten while I screamed at the top of my lungs at my attacker – my throat hurt and I was seeing stars afterwards but luckily it seemed to scare the dog off! I’ll never understand why the dogs out here in middle-America are such haters. Some of the dogs are so far away when they see us yet make futile attempts to try chasing us down while we continue on bewildered. Dogs over a half-mile away will sometimes spot us and streamline across farmland trying to catch up to us. James actually turned around to chase two smaller dogs the other day; he was “calling them out” for pretending to be tough bullies.

The highlight of Missouri was meeting Dale Sargent, a Powerbar rep who pulled over while riding by us on Highway 32 to invite us to his house that evening, about 35 miles up the road. He hooked us up with a spaghetti dinner, new water bottles (our old ones were tasting like a disgusting mix of Gatorade, chocolate milk, Coca-Cola), directional advice, and loads of Powebars, gels, and sport drinks. Thanks for the much needed fuel-stop Dale! We are pumped, reinvigorated by some extra sleep today, and ready to charge through Kansas with hopefully just the sounds of pesky crickets and not the barks of wild, stray dogs.



2 responses

22 07 2011

Keep going JOE!!!

23 07 2011
The Rogers Family

We are thoroughly enjoying your adventure and hearing about the good people that you have come in contact with. Thank you for the great blog posts!

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