Sheriff Sends Us Out To Lake Pomme de Terre

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Damside National Park

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The beauty of Arrowhead Campground kept us hanging around this morning. It was hard to comprehend how much our surroundings had changed. We now find ourselves in the thick forests of Missouri, the sudden increase in humidity giving it a very South East Asian feel.  When we hit the road mid morning the temperature was already up there in the 90s and we were straight into big up and downs, riding which feels like you are always going uphill because the down only lasts for 30 seconds before you have another 10 minutes up.

It was beautiful though with millions of insects creating a deafening chorus.  We arrived in Collins and opted for Peggy's Diner.  This was a true American highway café and full to the brim.  We had a suitably huge sandwich and fries with iced tea and coke.  We had only covered 12 miles but as we have 4 more days to reach St Louis we have calculated that it only requires 40 miles a day.  As today passed we decided that this was just as well, the hills, headwind and heat continuing to make the mile clock tick away very slowly indeed.

We have certainly found real America over the last few weeks and it has opened up a real treasure chest.  Every stop introduces us to a new character and today was no different.  As we cycled through a very small village we were questioned by a friendly guy with long hair and a longer beard.  We had to turn around and go and find out more.  He turned out to be living on a local farm in a kibbutz style community.  Their organisation had groups all over the world, one of them in Honiton, Devon.  His old buddy, 72 year old Gary was also living on the farm.  They were renovating a restaurant which was extraordinary inside.  Made entirely from local wood it was almost built around the trees that grew there. Next door they had a furniture shop with some stunning chairs and tables.  The fresh produce which they grew on the farm was soon being piled into a bag for us to take with us.  Gary was a keen cyclist and very interested in our bikes, especially keen to have some of our sophisticated gear to pimp out his $4 junkyard bike. We had to let him down gently, even though he offered a tractor as a swap.

Next up we arrived in Wheatland where we took cool time in the gas station.  Here we met Susan and Rhonda who demanded that I said their names over and over in my English accent.  She said it was much better than Hugh Grant and we left them pretty worked up!  They told us about a powerboating event which was being staged in town, we dropped by the stadium which consisted of two large manmade lakes where powerboats would speed around.

We thought that Hermitage looked good for a night stop but after some searching around we could not find a good camp.  Unusually despite dropping lots of hints no one offered us their garden – this always worked in Kansas. Instead, we popped into the County Jail to ask Sheriff Ray Tipton for permission to camp by the river but after a few phone calls to the conservation agency he reluctantly said we should head out to the lake, unfortunately 4 miles off our route. He was very interested in England and sad he’d never had the money for a flight.

The detour was well worth it however.  We arrived at a beautiful lake called Lake Pomme deTerre.  We have enjoyed another heavenly evening watching eagles, squirrels and geese.  The vegetables supplied by Qashad made a spicy ratatouille and we are ready for another day taking on the hills of Missouri.

Miles Cycled:  37 and with these hills every mile is hurting
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Jojo on

Glad you can please the locals with your pretty accent Mikey.

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