Made it 54 miles into Moberly about noon where, fortunately, I was able to
get into our motel room. It started raining about an hour out and I was really wet and cold. Hot shower fixed that and Sandy arrived about four. She has family in this part of Mo. and as of yesterday a new great nephew named Ross Baker. As I put the metal pony in the car this evening the odometer read 2,513 miles – great bike. I’d have to do a couple hundred more to complete the Lewis and Clark Trail and most of that would be on the Katy Railtrail. I’m going to save the Katy for another vacation. So, tomorrow we start visiting relatives between here and Southern Illinois. This ride has been a great experience. I’ve ridden every day since Aug. 9th, and virtually all of those days I had sunshine. I’ve really appreciated hearing from friends and family through this blog…thank you all. Thanks again to Bill DeLoache for joining in Montana and helping me past the oil boom in N. Dakota. We saw some great scenery. Tomorrow I rejoin the driving world where everything zips by at 65 mph. The uphills will be easy, but I’ll miss the sights, sounds, smells, etc. Bad weather for pics today so I thought I’d rerun a sunny shot from the Great Falls of the mighty Missouri River.
Spent all day on Rt 36, watched the sun come up, go overhead and behind. St Jo to Brookfield 97 mi. Again today a DQ appeared at just the right time in Chillicothe. Saw some good looking deer and redtailed hawks. Rear flat late morning. First, got the spare tire from the front pannier where it has comfortably ridden for 2,500 miles. When I pulled the rear wheel off it had a big staple in it. Put the new tire on-metal pony likes her new shoe. Oh, by the way, if your Mars candy stock has gone up…you’re welcome. Been seriously eating Snickers bars, my favorite energy bar hands down. First pic is Grand River, near Chillicothe-no flooding here. Second pic is Missouri Air Force missile cleverly hidden near a major highway. Wonder where the nosecone is? Start Treaty, or bargining chip for the next Big Ten matchup.
73 mi. Into St Jo. Started out in a cool spitting rain. In an hour it was raining and blowing. Getting wetter and wetter I made it to the small town of Burlington Junction just as my rear tire went flat. FORTUNATELY, there is a small cafe there and this morning it was filled with friendly, helpful and kind people. Can you imagine their thoughts when I stumbled in soaking wet wearing shorts, sandals and a bright yellow jacket? They planned a better, safer route for me. Superb directions…Jerry gave me a lift to Marysville and the better route. We had some great discussion enroute, I learned a lot about his farming operation-very interesting. I nearly flew down to St Jo with a tailwind, but the rear tire flatted again. Can’t find anything in the tire, but I got more changing and patching practice. A few blocks from my motel (Jerry and Bob’s directions) a very nice lady waved me over to the side of the road to tell me about her son who is about to start a major bike adventure from N. Carolina. I think their plan is to visit every state and climb the highest hill in every one. How about that? Now wasn’t that an amazing day? Sorry, no pics today…too much going on. Oh, and at least I didn’t ride with fenders on the bike from Oregon to Mo. for no reason. Looks like I may need them Friday too. Apple pie with ice cream for desert tonight – can’t beat this bike touring stuff.
Bit of a tailwind today…nice. Left Council Bluffs at sunrise after a great motel breakfast. Hit Rock Port at 93 mi. There’s still a lot of flooding here. So, tomorrow morning I’m going to head straight east to get away from the river. First pic is nice field of flowers on the campus of the Iowa school for the deaf. Second pic is first closed road. This forced me onto a major road with all the Interstate 29 traffic – it’s closed from here to Council Bluffs, quite a traffic mess, due to flooding. Third pic is on an Iowa country road at the Missouri state line. I had moved east in Iowa to get away from the river. Had to backtrack again. The second pic is at a railroad track. Just past the tracks they had built a new, temporary seven foot high levee. This flooding was/is a big deal.
Tough ride today…south headwind and up to 90 this aft. Supposed to cool off for tomorrow-hope so. Sloan to Council Bluffs 84 mi. Morning was in the fields corn beans corn beans, on and on. Saw something this morn I’ve only seen once or twice before. Heading west just after sunrise the full moon was dead ahead, setting and the sun was sitting on the eastern horizon having just risen – neat. Afternoon ride was along the Loess Hills – worth looking up. Pic 1 is the movie theater in Onawa. Pic 2 is a Loess hill.
Left Yankton just a bit before sunrise doing 102 mi into Sloan. Wouldn’t have been quite so much, but the bike trail along the river in Sioux City was really messed up by this year’s floods. That put me off the mapped routing and into the city. Let’s say I saw more of Sioux
City than I should have/wanted to. Pretty much standard farmland riding today….corn and beans. Stumbled onto a DQ when I needed it most – what a country. It was so pretty as the sun was coming up that I tried for a shot of it burning off the fog…maybe too artsy for this format…shortly before this pic it really did look like a ‘red rubber ball’. Second pic made me laugh and stop. If you look close it says “HAY CAPITAL OF THE UNIVERSE”. Who knew? Also, the “next five exits” were turnoffs from the road and were within the next 200 yards. Pretty good South Dakota humor.
Another day of severe sunshine and kind temps. Made Yankton after 78 mi of pretty riding AM by the river and farmland in the afternoon. Coming out of Pickstown at sunup happened to look along the road right and there were eight turkeys watching me grind up the hill away from the riv. Soon entered Yankton Sioux Res., and tracked down to the riv. again, this time on a large flood plain. And, most of it was still flooded except for the road which had just been reopened. Tough on the farmers-they lost most of this year’s crop. Rode about 15 mi down there – lots of water where it shouldn’t have been. Did see more turkeys, golden eagle and two great brown owls. Into Yankton by abt 3:00. Pics are a sign that caught my attention at Marty, home of the Yankton Sioux Tribal Headquarters. Also saw a bigger
sign which said “Tobacco Addiction
Is Not Our Tradition”. Second pic taken to show the far side river bluffs are now fully forested. More rainfall I suppose.