Friday, July 21, 2017

Early Mornings...An Answer to Prayer...Simple Lodging

Day 48 - 7/21/17 - Houston, MO to Ellington, MO - 71 Miles

Average Speed - I pushed my bike up several hills.

Lodging - Route 76 Bike Hostel - Free (donations accepted)

I like riding in the early morning.  It's like the countryside is just waking up, but hasn't yet wiped the sleep from its eyes.

Today I hit the big or should I say steep hills of MO.  For the first time on this trip, there were a handful of times that I couldn't spin the pedals another revolution and was forced to push.  I'm not upset about it, when riding a fully loaded touring bike, pushing is part of the experience.  It's not a pleasant one, but an experience all the same.  I'm riding through the  Ozark National Scenic Riverways and the scenery does not disappoint (that is when my head isn't down pushing the bike).

This afternoon I underestimated the amount of time it would take me to ride the last 26 miles.  Why?  Reread previous paragraph about steep hills and pushing.  The map showed a NPS campground that was to be my water resupply point.  Imagine my shock when I got there and it was closed.  I had one bottle of water left and 14 miles to go.  The temps were hoovering close to 100 and there was more pushing to be done.  I prayed a silent prayer...God I need some help here.  About 5 minutes later a rider catches me from behind.  He is with a church group that is riding across the country.  He gives me some of his water and then alerts his support group a couple miles further up the road.  They have water and ice waiting for me!!!!  Coincidence?  I think not.

The Chamber of Commerce here in Ellington provides this amazing little place to stay.

The room is maybe 15' X 15'.  They provide cots.  A bathroom with a shower.  A small fridge.  The best part...a window AC!!!  The last few nights I've been laying in my tent sweating profusely.  Tonight I have my own little piece of air conditioned heaven!

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