The weekend in Springfield with Michela, Bob, my dad, and Ale was definitely a much needed break from riding. It was so nice to be able to hang out and lounge around at a nice hotel without worrying about drinking sulfur water (smells wonderful btw), stressing about whether our clothes would be dry in the morning, or (the most recent worry) about bed bugs.
We had lots of laughs and told stories about the trip so far. It’s funny because our parents have been tracking us and reading my blog and getting text updates, so they have really been more involved than we both realized. Either Ale or I would start a story, and one of the parents would interject asking, “o is that where you did such and such?” and Ale and I would laugh and realize our story was over and the parents already knew what happened, how it happened, and the coordinates of where it happened. haha
We had a day full of adventures on Saturday. We started out going to what we thought was some canoe activity thing and ended up being a huge boy scout outdoorsy fair. It was crazy! I felt like i was in another country. We walked around and watched an old man in leather apparel cook deer stew over a fire, young boys (and old boys for that matter) with rat tails and mullets run from booth to booth collecting arrowheads and animal skins, and large humans consuming massive amounts of fried food. It was like a weird sort of stereotypical southern outdoor / do it yourself / male version of disneyland. It was awesome, and I would much prefer this kind of disneyland!
After walking around for an hour or two and admiring all the fair had to offer, we hopped back in the car and were off to the next adventure. It took some searching and playing with five smart phones to figure out where to go and how to get there. We decided on the amazing caverns, and got a quick bite to eat then arrived just in time for the next tour. The cavern was much larger than the cave Ale and I explored earlier this summer, and we sat in a little cart the whole time, so it was a lot less strenuous as well. The cave was beautiful and strange at the same time, and the tour guide had lots of interesting stories about the history. So overall, great success, and onto the next event.
We made a stop at the ice cream store and got some goods before deciding to go see a movie (The Campaign, which I thought was ok funny. I thought the best part was the fact that one of the main characters had pugs).
At the end of the night I ended up going to Sushi with just my dad, which was really nice. I have found that I grow to love him more and more as I get older, so hanging out and talking with him was awesome. I was incredibly grateful that he last minute was able to make it out to Missouri!
side note: I should also mention that during one our heart to hearts, my dad proceeded to attempt to get sideways in our rental car at every chance he could. It was raining, which meant slick roads, and it was a rental car, which meant he wasn’t as concerned about the tires, so in between life advice he would interrupt to say “yeeehaaaa” as my head would snap back into the head rest and we would lose traction on the road. O padre, the things you teach me…
At the end of the weekend, Ale and I had a bit of a disagreement as to where we would continue riding. Ale felt incredibly strong about going back to Gerard, Kansas, so that we did not “cheat.” I thought it would be fun to ride down the Katy Trail (old railroad tracks that apparently provides a slight down hill, away from traffic, throughout the entire state of Missouri). The trail was 130 miles north of the transamerica route, so Ale and I had previously decided not to do the trail (thought it would be too stressful to navigate off route), but now that we had willing drivers, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. The Katy Trail was also closer to Springfield than Gerard, which meant less driving for the Moss parents, but that didn’t seem to be a valid argument. Ale was pretty set on going back to Gerard. Ale easily won the argument, because I really didn’t care one way or the other, I just had a feeling that the transam route would be much harder and take a lot longer.
haha, i will write more about this in the next post, but climbing the Ozarks and going through Missouri on the transam has definitely been my least favorite part of the trip. I think I can safely say, I would have preferred to bike across Kansas again instead of going through Missouri. (so i guess my feeling was correct 🙂