June 20, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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June 20, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Missouri

Pilot Knob to Eminence, Missouri. (74 mi.) Mile 1431

Taking on the Ozarks

I am actually writing this entry early on June 21, from our dry B & B room in Eminence. Outside it is pouring rain, with thunder and lightening. We got an early start yesterday, intending to put in many miles to get through the hilly Ozarks. It was hazy but cooler than usual. We realized we were just outside the edge of a storm system to our north and hoped to outrun it.

The forested, hilly terrain and cultural history of this area most closely resemble that of Appalachia, as does the challenge to bicyclists. The Ozarks are also a recreational destination.

Teenagers play in the short waterfalls and plunge pools at Johnson's Shut In State Park,
where the Black River finds its way through an ancient lava flow.

When we stopped briefly at Johnson's Shut In State Park, we asked the ranger about the hills toward our destination. She drives this route everyday and said that it was actually fairly flat, no real hills. Looking down from the crest of one of these nonstop "non-hills" to the bottom and seeing the road angle skyward again up the other side, we wondered, "How can motorists not notice these hills?" Roller after roller later, we dragged ourselves into Eminence, completed worn out. Others have told us we only have about 7 more miles of these Ozarks, and we are out of the hills for a while. That is, if this storm lets up and allows us to ride. Meanwhile, we're cooped up watching the Weather Channel in our B & B room.

Hazy weather at Owls Bend. This is a favorite canoeing destination, and the first clear water river
we've seen on this trip. Rivers in Kentucky and Virginia were brown with mud and silt.

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