Marshfield, Mo. to Neosho, MO

Pictures:

  1. Trail of Tear Sign: Apparently there is an audio story of the “Trail of Tears” you can get in your car driving down 60W.   Read about this sometime in the past and it certainly was a sad time.   I am glad that Americans learn from their mistakes rather than trying to hide and forget them.
  2. Miracle Go in her rain gear.   Read on to get the inside scoop.
  3. Federal Fish Hatchery in Neosho.   Would be fun to visit to see how fish are raised and are used to populate waterways.
  4. Rick told me that there was an early Walmart that was small.   I think this is the one he was talking about and is only a grocery store.   The funny thing is within a couple of miles there is a regular full size Walmart.
  5. Beautiful fountain found after I had reserved a place to stay (Neosho Fire Station #1) and was on my way to dinner.    Yes dinner at 3:30.   I was hungry

Today had a rough start.   I woke up about 4:00 a.m and saw heat lightening in the distance.   Heat lightening is nothing more than a thunderstorm that is too far away to hear the thunder but allows for clear view of the lightening.   I thought that the day could be interesting but went back to sleep since the storm was far away and I didn’t know which way it was going.

Woke back up at 5:00 a.m. when I heard thunder.    Well that meant that I was in imminent danger of getting wet.   I quickly got dressed and rolled up my sleeping bag and mat putting them both neatly in their bags.   That is about the time the first rain drops hit the tent.    I ran my pillow, sleeping bag, pad, and Miracle Go next door to the county’s 911 site which I thought was appropriate.   A guy came to the door and asked if he could help me and I explained that I just wanted to borrow his porch for a bit.   Ran back to my campsite in heavy rain and just picked up my tent and ground cloth and back to the porch I went.   Under cover I was able to pack up tent and ground cloth.   I rang the 911’s door bell and asked if they’d let me carry my stuff to the front porch where Miracle Go waited.    With passage secured Miracle Go and I were reunited with all travel items.   Packed Miracle Go and checked Weather Underground.   Looked like 40% change of rain immediately decreasing to 20% in an hour for the rest of the day.

No sense in waiting on the porch so head and tail lights were switched on for an immediate extraction.   I figured that I was riding where the storm came from so I would get through it quicker.   Our objective was Stafford 12 miles away.   For the next hour we went through medium to heavy rain showers.   The rain and lack of breakfast caused me to get a bit chilly.   My thoughts were all wishing for Stafford.   We got to Stafford and the McDonald’s was on the other side of I-44.   I could have gotten there but it was an extra couple of miles.   Instead I stopped at a gas station store for a pace of Chip’s Ahoy cookies and orange juice (the juice was for vitamins).   Stopping didn’t help my warmth issue.   Continued on into Springfield.   About an hour later it was my fortune to look left and see the Golden Arches.    A quick turn and a couple of frantic “pedal maneuvers” and the bacon and sausage sandwiches were mine.

Although it continued to rain off and on the rest of the morning it wasn’t bad and the roads didn’t even get wet.   The heavy overcast caused me to set my sights on getting to Neosho which would make today’s miles over hundred.   With soft target in mind we traveled the rest of the day.   The overcast kept the sun away and the wind was never a factor.    Making good time we did make it to Neosho.

Found City Hall who pointed me to the Emergency Disaster Office (which I never did find) and on the way I saw a police officer who pointed me to the fire station across the street which allowed me to find the fire chief who said I could stay if it was okay with the shift officer.   They graciously said I could spend the night in the station – HURRAY!

The Subway was 2 miles away.  In the early days I would have just not eaten.   Now 2 miles even after 100 miles doesn’t seem so bad.    My how times change.

Story #1 – Rain, since I rode 7 or so days before I encountered rain I figured that after I experienced rain I would have another 7 days before a downpour.   Remind me that “Mother” Nature has the right to change her mind any time she wants to.

Story #2 – Missouri is a beautiful state filled with the nicest people in the world.   I am about 15 miles from the Oklahoma border and just want to thank all the people that helped me get through the state.   People would talk to me in the McDonald’s, outside gas station stores and wave at me from their cars.    The friendliest people in the world.  Missouri also has lots to see and has been a central point in some of America’s early history (Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Trail of Tears and Route 66).   If you have time drop on by!

Story #3 – It’s Day 11 in my trip.   I did 102 miles today not counting the time it will take to get back to the station.   I was able to get my average speed up from 10.5 miles an hour to 12.2 by the time the day was over.   This is largely due to the lack of wind but still huge as it allowed me to make it to Neosho without being exhausted.   Tomorrow will have two milestones: Entering Oklahoma and completing over 1000 miles since the journey’s start (51 miles to go).   I remember the first couple of days when I wasn’t sure I was going to get out of the front yard.

Story #4 – Started meeting some people riding their bikes East.    Two gentlemen were going from Oklahoma City to St. Louis.    What came to me mind when they said this was, “oh, you’re staying local”.   It sounds mean but that isn’t what I meant.   The 500 or so miles sounded literally “local” to me.

Story #5 – Today I went shopping.   All the travel goodies my wife bought for me are almost gone.   I try to eat breakfast and dinner with the snacks (beef jerky, trail mix, and almonds) covering lunch and to keep me going.   When I stop by a gas store I get Gatorade (two 32 ounce bottles for $3.50) and maybe some cookies.    I should be stocked up for another two weeks or so.   I take my food and liquids seriously.

Story #6 – Been through Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri (mostly).   The landscape for these states is largely the same.   Beautiful, trees, farms, lots of space, fast changing weather, and friendly people.   Oklahoma for me is a change of scenery.   I think this is considered the West.   Plan to take some pains to better understand the “gotchas” and to avoid them.

Heading back to get ready for tomorrow.

Wishing you a spectacular day!

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