Hitting the Ozark moutains ! A long ride to reach one of the larger cities on the trail, and a day where I was reassured regarding a few worries I had.
I still need to get a real night of sleep, but at least I slept a bit. Considering the poor conditions of the motel, it was better than nothing 🙂 And that allowed me to leave early. I knew I had a long, tough day ahead. That probably didn’t help getting some rest, as I usually worry too much.
The first worry I have for the rest of the trip is about loose dogs. I’ve already been biten while riding, in France, and I’m not looking for that to happen again. Loose dogs abound in rural Kentucky, says the adventure cycling association. Ok, but what’s so special about Kentucky ? It puzzled me since the start.
Well I got the answer just leaving Greenfield : nothing. I got four dog alerts today, more than for the rest of the trip so far. Any rural area is bound to have dogs, ok, same here as in France. Most today did not give chase, barking from a distance, or staying quite far from me. If that’s what is bound to happen in any rural place, I can deal with that.
Entering the hilly areas known as the Ozark this morning was nice as the fog from Stockton Lake was covering the whole place. Latest misty moutains were in California on the very first days, more than two months ago. Very quickly I ran into the short, mean slopes that define the trail here.
But I’m used to that : this is achingly similar to the environment of my home region. Many slopes can be covered with the speed acquired from the downhill part – except that the weight of the trailer has to be accounted for. I probably pushed a bit too hard at the start. I walked more slopes later – I had not done so since Pueblo. So anyway, the worry about the Ozark is quite alleviated. The elevation profile on the maps was quite scary.
Finally I was worried how long it would take to get back to enjoying the ride alone again. For a few days now I’ve been looking forward to the end of the ride, calculating the stops and the time to the Appalachians – the final difficulty. But that doesn’t leave a lot for day to day enjoyment. Simply looking at the scenery, taking pictures, watching the land unfold. I started doing that again today.
And even with the humidity here ! In one hour I was soaking wet – and it wasn’t even warm today. One more hour, my feet were in pools of sweat in my shoes, which ended the day drenched from the inside !
Near the end of the ride I saved a turtle 🙂 It is now safely moving north of state road 38. I placed a BikindBad sticker on it to track it by satellite.