I cross the Mississippi for the last time and find myself in Hannibal, Missouri, home of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse, Mark Twain Cave & Campground, Mark Twain Commemorative Pothole…
Missouri is a non-stop roller coaster ride with constant, short, steep hills up to 13% grade. I’m grateful to have sunny weather as the electric assist makes short work of these little monsters.
I cross I-70.
My second night in Missouri, I visit artist Michael Bauermeister (@michaelbauermeisterart) at his workshop on the Katy Trail. He creates amazing works of art out of wood and paint. In 1978, he and his brother did a cross-country bike tour. We swap stories. I keep away the evening chill with a campfire using scrap wood from his workshop.
What’s this dandruff coming off my tent in the morning? I turn on my headlamp and see that they are ice crystals. I ride on the Katy Trail for a few miles and consider following it most of the way to Kansas City but it’s a sunless green tunnel. Maybe if the next few days were overcast anyway but since I’m getting lots of sun I want to take advantage of it and cover more ground.
I’m heading west now, leaving the Mississippi River behind. West of St. Louis, I find my first Route 66 sign, soon to be followed by many more. It doesn’t take long for the first roadside oddity to appear. It’s a giant rocking chair. Why? Because people will stop to take pictures and then, invariably, someone needs to use the restroom and then, why not pick up some Route 66 shot glasses to remember the experience?
I meet another long distance walker pushing a stroller. Brian (@spiritualprogramofaction) is walking to raise awareness of addiction.
The next morning, it gets cold enough that my brakes start freezing up. I suspect it’s moisture in the cable lines.
I improvise a detour with the help of Google Bike Maps to void some nasty shoulder and traffic conditions on route 96 in Western Missouri. This takes me through some very quiet back country roads. I keep getting chased by dogs but none of them seem very serious about it. It’s like they’re just going through the motions.
Stats for people who like stats.