78.24 miles (Total: 1316.81) Avg Speed: 12.4mph Max Speed: 39.5mph
Terry had left early this morning again leaving me an Joe to sleep in. One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post was the roads into Chester were literally melting it was that hot and the ridges on my new tyres picked up the sticky hot tar followed by every small stone I past over. So I spent about and hour this morning combing through and picking out every last bit. The ride out of Chester and over the Mississippi was going to be hairy. We had to pass over a very narrow bridge so used by yesterdays coal trucks so we waited for a small car to get behind us and shepherd us over the other side. Once across we had passed the state line and arrived in state number 4, Missouri!
Only 15 miles into the ride and we spotted a gigantic black cloud forming on the horizon. Everything went eerily quiet and the day suddenly descended into darkness. We took shelter at a gas station as the dark clouds rolled over each other as the thunder rumbled, I’ve never seen anything like it. The storm soon came and past after spending about an hour sat inside. The weather was clear skies and sunshine again so we pressed on.
We met with a couple of East-bounders from California who had taken the Western Express route from San Fran then joined the TransAm trail in Pueblo. They talked to Joe about the first section of the route because that is the one he will be taking when we reach Pueblo, then advised us on a detour today that would save us around 6 miles.
After reaching the end of the detour we were only about 20 miles from the campground we had planned to stay at. We stopped at a small store in a place called Pilot Knob for some milkshakes and then cruised the last stretch of the ride both in our top cranks barely going under 20mph. I had deer running in the fields beside me and an Osprey swoop down in front of me, I hadn’t expected the Missouri scenery to be this good, its probably the best yet.
We arrived at Kyles campground to find Terry already set up. They had showers but the small creek was more inviting. Tiny fish nibbled the dead skin of my feet, I bet people pay good money to get that done. The place had a dingy looking bar at the entrance but inside it was actually great fun, the locals swilled beer and played rock music and were really friendly, although a pregnant woman drank and smoked in the corner whilst having a domestic with her husband. We crawled into our tents thinking about the ride tomorrow which would mark the start of the Ozark mountains, described by the maps as one long self propelled roller coaster.