And just like that, I have cleared the Ozark moutains ! A much easier ride, another couple of counties passed, and a large city again. And Al’s place !
Leaving the Butterfly Inn took me some time. I had a large house to myself and it was very comfortable. I’ve been starting off later and later these days, mostly because the early morning is chilly in the forests. So, it was almost nine when I started the trip.
The really tough part of the Ozarks was clearly behind me. There were a few slopes left, but it was because the trail goes on secondary roads, to go through state parks. It goes through Johnson’s Shut-ins, which has a lot of waterfalls, but not near the road, and I didn’t want to use the morning to explore the area.
After the last climb, I took a short detour to go to Elephant Rocks state park. This one is small and nice to visit : a collection of granite rocks extracted through erosion, and later used as a quarry. A nice pause on the way 🙂
Another 20 miles / 30 kms down to reach the only large city on the trail in Missouri, Farmington. On the way I saw once again storage boxes, as in all towns since Kansas, even the real tiny ones. But this one was also a flea market, just like northern Paris. Around there I met a bike mechanic who detailed the way to Al’s place, a former small jailhouse.
This is the first and probably only cyclist-only hostel, aimed precisely at TransAmerica riders ! It’s extremely cheap, well maintained, has all facilities, a kitchen, laundry, wifi and a tv. And a bike shop across the street. Oh and it’s managed by the police department :p
Ok the tv channel list is terrible. And the movie theater is small and far away. So what to do in such a case ? Well you storm the nearest store (2 miles away as usual) for DVDs !
I still have but one day riding Missouri before crossing the Mississippi into Illinois, so I added another flag to the mast !