The wonderful wizard of Oz(arks) I was talking about? Not so much. Day 30 saw me travelling from Hartville to Elliotville. Surrounding Elliotville were some of the steepest grade climbs of the Ozarks, and possibly of the trip. Holy Hills, Batman!
I must say though, the morning ride to Eminence, MO, from Hartville was almost perfect. Only two things rattled my cage.
1) A particularly athletic horsefly decided that my head was its new track and field, and spent the good part of 20 kms flying laps around my eyeballs.
2) Trucks. Big 'ol trucks. Of the logging variety. These guys must get paid down to the second, because they do not slow down, move over, or show any road courtesy whatsoever. Compared to the average Missouri driver (courteous, shares the road etc.), these guys are like 4 year olds who just got their hands on a Fischer Price truck and a 6 pack of soda, and are trying out their new wheels at mommy and daddy's dinner party. Bah!
I pull into Elliotville, pretty gassed, and start munching on snacks at a gas station, while I figure out where to camp. As I sit there, a pickup truck pulls up, and I am "Howdy"d by a lovely couple. They have just built a free hostel in town for cyclists, as part of the Chamber of Commerce's efforts to get us weary travellers to stop in their neck of the woods. I am guest #1.
I'm joined by a German cyclist named Jeffrey, who is official guest #2. Looks like their little hostel is off to a great start! I was just happy for the shower. (More on Jeffrey in Day 31's post).
(Pics of the hostel to come...)