Yesterday’s decision to stop 10 miles short of my plan proved to be a good one. The hotel in Jefferson City was clean and quiet. I had to walk a half mile for dinner, a local pizza chain called Imo’s. To be honest I’d have eaten a shoe with ketchup on it so the fact that the pizza and Caesar salad was meh didn’t much matter.
The hotel breakfast was decent. Biscuits and gravy, Cheerios, orange juice, and coffee. Oink. I took two apples for the road and headed out at 8.
The chicane down from the Missouri River bridge was a bit disorienting first thing in the morning.
Once on the trail I encountered a much better riding surface. My legs were fresh and I found myself cruising along at 11 mph. Bicycling is much nicer when you’re not bonking. After ten miles I came upon the town I planned on staying in last night. It would have been a good place to camp.
If I camped, however, I’d have had peanut butter on tortillas for dinner, with some salmonella on the side. My Jif had been recalled. (I tossed the jar in the trash in the hotel.)
As I rode along I kept finding that my information about trail services was inconsistently inaccurate. There were places to camp that I didn’t have on my guide maps and a restaurant next to the trail that wasn’t on them either. Of course, it wasn’t opened when I rode by.
The morning animal entertainment was bunnies and squirrels. The squirrels here have a faint reddish underbelly, not unlike foxes. An armadillo shell replaced yesterday’s possum carcass.
I munched as I rode. Both apples bit the dust.
The scenery had plenty of variety. Low land farms, the Missouri, and impressive bluffs. I passed a place called Boathenge, just a line of canoes stuck vertically into the ground. Sorry no picture.
I climbed Eagle Bluff to check out the eagles swooping over a vast plowed field. I’m spoiled by the eagles at home. The view wasn’t worth the steep climb. I used a small branch as a cane and didn’t have any back trouble.
I stopped in Rocheport for lunch. Burger and fries and coffee. Hit the spot. I filled one of my water bottles and hit the trail. Later I learned that I had neglected to bring the bottle with me. I suppose it’ll make an odd tip for the wait staff.
Back on the trail I could feel the humidity rising. The wind, a tailwind, started gusting. I made the turn to Boonville, once again crossing the Missouri. My tailwind had become a crosswind making the crossing a bit of an adventure.
The weather changes were a portent of much worse things to come. The next town on the trail is Pilot Grove. It has a single B&B. It’s about 11 miles away. The next town with services is Sedalia, another 12 miles away.
I checked the forecast and the radar on my phone. I would have been heading right into a massive storm with lots of scary red radar blotches. This being Missouri I decided that taking a risk on dancing with a tornado was unwise. I rode out Main Street to I-70 and checked into a motel. Again.
Tomorrow I’ll take things as they come. I can stay here another day or ride to Sedalia. We’ll see.
Mileage today: 56. Tour mileage: 182