Best part of the day: No road flooding after last night’s storm
Worst part of the day: Rob’s turn to get an eye issue
Distance: 35 miles Riding Time: 3hrs 47min
Bed count: 29 Sleeping Bag count: 20
It was tough getting up this morning as our bed at the Young’s home was as comfortable as ours back home. But, get up we did. Got ourselves dressed and headed upstairs where George was already up getting breakfast ready for us: ground sausage in gravy, scrambled eggs with cheese, toast, fruit, coffee and apple juice. It was a delicious wake-me-up!
Got our panniers packed back up, loaded into the trunk of George’s car and loaded the bikes on his car rack. We took a couple of pictures with George and Kay and thanked Kay for her hospitality. (With our fantastic Warm Showers hosts, George and Kay!)
Then George drove us back to the truck stop where he’d picked us up yesterday. A couple more pictures with him, hugs of thank you and goodbye and then we were off.
Almost immediately we were greeted with a nice downhill. The only thing that would’ve made that downhill better would’ve been the absence of a headwind! That was what we would be dealing with all day today. Upper teens to low 20s headwinds for practically the whole ride.
A side road off of State Route Z took us to the village/hamlet of Devils Elbow. Crossing over the Big Piney River, we stopped for a picture of the bridge (built in 1923).
Another young man was also walking toward us to do the same. He said that he was an actor and they were shooting part of an indie movie, Jabberwanky (on Facebook), there. They had a couple of those rent-an-RV (CruiseAmerica) vehicles, one for the actors and one for the crew plus a trailer for their equipment. Last night’s storm had them hunkering there at the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ.
Yesterday while we were stopped in Waynesville talking with the mayor, she mentioned that we had to stop at this place because the ceiling was covered in brassieres!! Even though the place wasn’t open, the cook was there cooking up ribs in his smoker and he let us in to the place. And sure enough, attached to the ceiling were numerous brassieres!! Don’t know the history of this quirky place and what brought about this “bras on the ceiling” phenomenon. (The brassieres and other items attached to the ceiling of the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ.)
Rolling on, we were shielded from the wind by the trees that lined our route. That made a nicer ride even with the rolling hills, climbs and descents we encountered. Along the way about 8 miles in, it was Rob’s turn to get something in his eye! Stopped and tried to flush whatever it was out, but, no success. (It irritated him for the rest of the ride!!) Rode through the small town of Newburg and stopped at a Dollar General in Doolittle for our lunch break (PB&J on our flour tortillas and OJ).
Next came the toughest part of the ride. After Doolittle, we were pretty much riding next to I-44 and had no protection from the wind which was really blowing in our faces now! Lots more rolling hills made it a struggle getting into city of Rolla. We were still about 10 miles out from St. James and there was a thought of just calling it a day and getting a motel there. But, we pushed on even though we knew there were more of those tough rolling hills ahead of us.
The approaching storm was not anticipated to hit St. James until around 4 and we figured we’d get into that town with time to spare. Our yesterday’s thought of riding all the way to Cuba, an additional 13 miles, was thrown out the window!!
Got a room at a nice place, the Greenstay Hotel & Suites, and got settled in. Rob tried again to flush out his eye with again not much luck.
Turned on the TV to one the local channels to see what was happening with the incoming storm on their radar. A wide band of red stretched from north to south and would eventually hit us around 4:30-5. The weather forecaster was even talking about a tornado watch for around Waynesville, St. Robert, Rolla and possibly St. James!! We thought of our night’s Warm Showers hosts where a tornado warning was in effect for their area!!
Flags flying at the next door McDonald’s were whipping in the wind as we looked outside to see what was going on! TV weather people were constantly interrupting regular shows with tornado watch/warning/sighting updates! The heavy rains hit a little before 5. We called the front desk and asked what to do in case of a tornado. The person said to get into the bathtub. So, we prepared for any tornado possibility by taking our important things (phone, wallet, electronics, down jackets, etc.) into our room’s bathroom which was well away from the windows! We even had a few momentary power outages as the deluge finally arrived. (Hanging out in the bathroom hoping that no tornado hits our area!)
Going anywhere for dinner! Yeah, right! Had our ramen (Fay) and PB&J on a roll (Rob) in our room. Almost two hours later, the rain was still falling. Later, we had our 2nd double rainbow of this trip! The first was back in Elk City.
It looks like tomorrow will be another decent day for riding. Winds are looking to be better for us.
But, weather is ever changing here, so we’re just making adjustments on the fly!
Until our next post….