Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010-08-19Missouri page 35 of 54

Day 35, Missouri

From Pittsburg to Springfield MO

I backtracked the 1.5 miles on Broadway to the 126, and headed out of town (Pittsburg) on that. The morning sky was clear, so I knew the day would be a hot one.

In about 4 miles I reached the Missouri state line, and stopped for a photo.

The Missouri state line

From there the road lost its shoulder, and became narrower. In fact, the grasses had not been mowed next to the road, and due to the recent rains those grasses were 2 feet tall in places, and made the road seem much narrower, and closed in.

Also, the land became quite a bit more hilly.

Hilly road

I am meeting the nicest people on this trip. 21 miles later, while approaching the small town of Golden City, I saw a guy in an open Jeep slowing down; and as he passed by, I saw that he was holding a copy of my book "Trail Life" for me to see. He obviously knew who I was.

Curtis joined me for breakfast in a small café, and we had a good time talking about life in these parts. For example, I learned why the chicken crossed the road. "To show the armadillos how," he joked. Indeed,I had seen a lot of armadillos run-over by cars. Curtis works at an aerospace firm and often goes hiking or kayaking with his troop of boy scouts. He had known when I got to the post office in Girard, KS, because It turns out that the postmaster is a friend of his, another Boy Scout leader. He had called Curtis the minute I left the post office. Curtis also had two earlier books I had written, for me to see, including the first one.

From there I stayed on the 126 to Lockwood, then turned south on road "Z" to Everton. (Imaginative names for these roads. I even saw one called "AB".) The day had become quite hot and the road was a succession of steep hills. So at that town I stopped in the shade for a well needed rest.

In Ash Grove I felt like I needed to get out of the sun, (maybe on the verge of heat exhaustion and I had learned to not take any chances), so I went into a supermarket to cool off and drink some fluids.

From there I pedaled to Willard, where I picked up a shoulder - of all things - then on to the outskirts of Springfield, wherein lies my favorite bike shop, not to be missed. But still on the NW side of town, I got a motel.

Miles pedaled today: 83

The story has 54 pages. This is page 35.
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