This should be the route I'll be following...

Friday, 24 July 2009

It's Friday and I'm melting.....

Oohh, it's hot today. And hilly. My most favourite combination, like ever. Have paused in Summersville, Missouri for some time in an air-conditioned building (the library) and a comfy chair.
Where was I the last time? Going to Farmington Fire Station I think. They were cool, and firefighters and fire stations are the same the world over. If I could get the damn phone to work I'd have posted some pictures - if there's a resaurant in this town perhaps I'll get it sorted there. I've no real aspirations to cover a great many miles today.
I spent the night at the fire station on a camp bed in their control unit, which is very much like ours but has a microwave, TV and cooking area in it, and is a lot bigger. A guy called Sonny turned up, also crossing the States by bike but he's in a recumbent bike and it's powered by his arms as he's in a wheelchair when not on his bike. I have no idea how he made it through Virginia on arm power, that's amazing. And the last couple of days must have been hard work too - it was very difficult by leg power, let alone arm power. He's a cool guy - I'm met other people on the way who'd mentioned him, I'd be wondering if our paths would cross. It's quite easy to miss people as there are a variety of short-cuts to be taken if you get talking to the right people. The firefighters directed us on an alternate route which by-passed a couple of the major hills in this Ozark region. No-one mentioned the Ozarcs when talking about mountains. It's funny (well, it isn't actually)that when I was in Virginia, people said "once you're clear of Virginia, it flattens out then" and when I was in Kentucky people said " Once you're clear of Berea, it flattens out then" etc etc. IT HASN'T GOT FLAT YET. Allegedly, now I'm in Summersville, it should flatten off. And Kansas is next, and that is flat.
For Alex and Sally - I met a guy called Bennet who reminded me of Biz. That was strange. Looks like Biz, and called Bennet....oohhhhh. Spooky.
Road Kill of the Day (for yesterday) was Armadillo. Seen two so far, both squashed. Rescued another turtle or tortoise. Seen a live Racoon finally. Still no bears.
Somehow I managed to 'loose' two screws that hold the rear pannier rack onto the bike yesterday. Well, they weren't there this morning when I was about to set off and I can't imagine I was riding without them yesterday as everything would have fallen off the back of the bike. Very strange. I was camping last night at Owls Bend and someone could have messed about with it but that seems as unlikely as them falling out of their own accord. Very strange. Anyway, it's all held together by the cord from my old Fire Service kit bag that I disposed of at the airport. Fortunately I figured the cord would come in handy at some point so I kept it. Good move. There's a bike shop in Pittsburg, Kansas, which I should get to on Monday so they can sort it out, as wellas my need for a new chain and cartridge that I'm praying (not literally) will not self-destruct before then. The last bike shop didn't have the spares but he warned me it was on it's last legs.
Missouri is full of trees, and hills, so can't see very much from the roads. Climbed up some big observation tower, un-manned, so got a good view of more hills and the tree tops, and eagles. For miles. And miles. It's funny how litigous they are here but you can climb an un-manned observation tower that is easy to fall off. They would have a nervous breakdown in the UK at that prospect. There was a fantastic river at this campsite last night, called Current River, so named I think as it was flowing pretty fast, creating some good currents. I didn't swim but had a wash in there (no showers on the campsite) and even sat on the side you were in danger of getting dragged off. Plenty of kids and families playing around though. It was a great spot.
Another rest spot on the way here was some 18th century mill and pond. It's actually where a spring emerges but it pumps out 81 million gallons of water a day! And its so clear, I was desparate to jump in but you're not allowed as it's also a delicate ecosystem it seems and I would have contaminated it.
Alex - you don't need a special driving license and most if not all cars here are automatics I think.
Mum and dad - have you got the form done that clears you for initial access to the USA? I can't remember what it's called but it's on the US Gov website, it's free and you have to do it. Alex has done it.
Binners. Engaged!!!! Lol.
Thanks Richie(s) for keeping things alive. Or are you telling porkies?
Have a good holiday Louis - let me know what you get up to. Don't let your dad have too many beers!
I'll try and get some pictures up. Bye for now.


  1. Yes we have the form (not on paper). Glad to hear you're keeping fresh and clean! Do you knowhow to cook roadkill - it was on the telly wasn't it?
    The bike sounds knackered - perhaps you should have got sposorship from raleigh or whatever they're called nowadays.
    Saw the video - was it really you - no belly and a significantly darker face?

  2. hey. sounds like yuor having fun even with the miles of cycling. are you dirnking enough or you ll dehydrate. bet yuor not.
    just sent yuo a text too. we could do with some sun over here its raining all the time.
    hope you get the bike fixed easily.
    take it easy
    alex xxx

  3. Hi Matt

    I can't believe what you've been through so far. It's wonderful keeping up with your progress. I always thought you were a little bit mad (especially the night I had the sailor party and recommended everyone wear blue and white, and you turned up in a white lace tu tu with blue flowers all over it!!!... but I digress), but now I know you are!!

    Muchos respect from your lazy friend who drives his car to the local shops 3 minutes walk away.

    Are you getting any TV coverage over there? Why aren't you booked for Oprah? It worked wonders for su-bo and that pol pot guy

    Take care xxx

  4. Can't believe you are almost in Kansas already, you must be ahead of schedule?