June 24, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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June 24, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Missouri

Marshfield to Greenfield, Missouri. (58 mi.) Mile 1596

Last day in Missouri

A combination of oversleeping and a trip to Wal-Mart for emergency camping stuff (Ensolite pads, ground tarp, and bug repellent) put us on the road in the hottest part of the day. We enjoyed the scenery, but half way through the mileage, we ran out of water (about a gallon of fluids each), so elected to hang out at the air conditioned convenience store in Walnut Grove for over two hours drinking iced PowerAde on tap and cooling down.

Too hot. My long-sleeved sunblocker jersey prevented sunburn but led to overheating.

We are not through with the roller-coastering ups and downs of the Ozarks yet, but we are doing better with the hills. Many of them are so close together and steep that I only have time to shift from my high to middle to low chain ring and back up again without touching the other gears. Up, down, up, down, shift, shift, shift,....chink, chunk, of the chain moving through the gears, mile after mile after mile.

We detoured off the route at Walnut Grove, taking Highway U to Greenfield. Highway U is aptly named for the topography. We were told of this detour by Keith, a retired New York banker, whom we met in Houston. He is celebrating his 60th birthday by bicycling across the country, even though his family insists he must be crazy to want to do this.

American flags on every power pole line the streets into Walnut Grove, an intersection with boarded up, vintage store fronts. This area, and nearby Branson, are known as a Blue Grass Music Capital.

Greenfield is the only place where we found accommodations that would answer the phone to take reservations. Our motel room rate is $23.50 (a record low so far), and you had better have exact change for the proprietor. He's the one in the white t-shirt and overalls. There were no mints on the pillow but the room came with a Courtesy Fly-Swatter, which we have put to good use.

Greenfield: abandoned and boarded up buildings are common throughout Missouri.

Spelling blooper in store front, Greenfield, Missouri.

Tomorrow we make it to Kansas, where we exchange hills for wind. We're hoping for tailwinds.

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