May 19, 2004

5/19/04 Blue Springs MO

90 miles (374 total)

At one point last night, I thought we might have to use Bill and Janice's canoe to escape. The rain was relentless all night long. In the morning, it had stopped but only long enough for me to pack up and get the rain gear on.

As I got closer to Marshall, it started to let up and the blue sky could be seen in the west. But to the south, the sky was filled with black. It must have passed behind me because by the time I stopped for a bit of breakfast, the sun was shinning.

Just outside of Marshall was Mr B's Family Restaurant. My smiling waitress Tammy, who had just moved here from Las Vegas, was a bit worried about the humidity. "We just get used to it." I said.

When I didn't have a shoulder to ride on, I stayed on the road until someone came up behind me, then I'd pull off and wait for them to pass. It was just a little effort but I hope some of the drivers appreciated it.

Country farms in rural Missouri

Just before reaching Higginsville, I stopped at the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site. In 1889, almost 25 years after the Civil War, a group of Confederate veterans raised enough money to purchase land to establish a haven for their less fortunate comrades. In it's 59 years of existence, the Confederate Home Farm took in more than 1,600 veterans and their wives and children. Some of the buildings remain including the chapel and I visited the cemetery.

It was getting to be a hot one today. By the time I reached Higginsville, I definitely could use a cold drink. What struck me about the town was it was so well maintained. Every house and yard, no matter rich or poor, looked like everyone took pride in where they lived. Pulled into the "Old Time Cafe". The owner commented that the town sure could use the business from all the Lewis & Clark bike riders.

Confederate Cemetery

It was only 2PM and from the map, Blue Springs didn't seem like that much farther, maybe 20-30 miles. And there is a chance of rain tonight. So I put on more sunscreen and got a full water bottle and got back out on the road.

Passed a road closed sign and wondered if it was some sort of construction I could ride through. Guess I didn't really miss the rain at all because 5 miles later I found the road closed due to flood waters. I couldn't even see the other end of all the water. The funny thing was that the bridge was dry, but everything past it was under water. Ended up taking a nightmare of a roller-coaster road detour and even had to push the bike up a few hills because I was so tired. My mileage estimate was looking a little short for the day.

The road doesn't 'look' closed?

Ended up following on the access road next to I-70 for a while. Got some sketchy directions in Oak Grove and ended up on Old Highway 40 instead of 40 Highway. Ran into another road closed sign but decided to brave it anyway. Nope, more flood water, but I was tired of taking the extra miles for a detour. So, I waited until a truck drove across the water and decided that I could do it in a bike. Got a little wet, but made it ok.

How deep do you think it is?

Riding through Blue Springs was not fun. Definitely not a bike-friendly town. Since it was rush-hour, I ended up riding most of the time on a gravel shoulder full of broken glass and trash. Finally rolled up to my aunt and uncles about 7PM after a long 90 mile day. Can you say "too much too soon!"

My aunt Juanita and uncle Bob were the same relatives that met that first day in Hartford, IL. They kept my plate full as I felt my energy restored with shower, clean clothes and a full belly. I'll sleep very well tonight.