I have to apologize because apparently an email I sent out some time ago didn’t actually get sent. My laptop went south after I left Colorado and I didn’t have internet access for awhile. I tried to send an email blast out from a public library in Kansas and it didn’t go, probably due to operator error. Then my cell was left behind in another town and it finally caught up with me a few days ago. It too has a few issues which I will have to get addressed when (and if) I ever get to a town that has a cell phone store.
That all being said…I AM OKAY. Presently I am in eastern Missouri, specifically the little town of Winona. Winona, as in one of the Judd’s. Let me catch you up on where I’ve been and what I’m doing. After leaving my dad in Pueblo Colorado I went through Kansas. And it was miserable. They are having a very hot and humid summer so riding a bicycle was not a pleasant experience. Flat? Yes. No hills whatsoever. Going from riding in the Rocky Mountains to the plains was….boring. The heat and humidity was so oppressive that I ended up riding much of at night. I’d get up at 3:30am or so and ride for a few hours in the dark and (relative) cool high 70’s. I have a head lamp and a light on my bike which I’d turn on and get a few miles under my belt by the time the sun came up. Once that happened it didn’t take long for the heat index to climb to well over 100 degrees. Kind of like riding in a combination Easy Bake Oven and Native American sweat lodge. I will never, NEVER make fun of my folks again when they tell me about the dry heat of Arizona. As it turns out there is a difference between 100 degrees and 10 percent humidity and 100 degrees and 80 percent humidity. And boy, let me tell you that pedaling past a cattle feed lot when it is 107 is quite the experience. The ammonia fumes are, um, strong. One whiff of that is like getting punched by Muhammad Ali.
In middle of Kansas I stayed at a hostel in an athletic club where they had a scale. At that point in time I was down to 144 pounds which means I’ve lost well over 25 pounds since I left home. And I eat like a horse. Cycling really does indeed burn the calories.
Kansas was really one long non descript town after another. I’m sure it’s lovely during the spring and fall but the summer is just horrible and all I wanted to do was get through it. Missouri on the other hand is nice. Rolling hills and even though it’s hot I’ve enjoyed myself far more here. I couple of days ago I stopped in Cabool where I spent the day with some family members of my sister-in-laws. Had a great time with them. Ron and I went ATV’ing in the Mark Twain National Forest which is gorgeous. Lots of natural springs and swimming holes.
I’ve deviated from the TransAm Trail a bit to make up a little time. I’ll be in Missouri for another 3 days or so and then cross into southern Illinois. I’ll only be there for a day or so before crossing into Kentucky. To date I’ve pedaled 2,928.90 miles. I have about 1,100 miles to go and hope to make it to Yorktown on or about September 22nd. I had my first two flats a few days ago which is amazing. To go nearly 3,000 miles without a flat was pretty remarkable. I had a flat on my trailer and one on my bike. The one on my trailer happened about a half mile from my destination one day. My equipment is beginning to wear a little. That’s to be expected, things do take a beating.
You can expect more frequent updates now that my laptop is fixed. For those that were worried because you hadn’t heard from me, again, I apologize.