Day 12 Wind and Thunderstorms! 6-26-18
Springfield, MO to Joplin, MO
Wow, the first half of today was absolutely brutal. I spent a few hours fighting a super-strong wind, which of course was directly into my face, while climbing a ton of Missouri hills. Luckily the sun didn't start cooking me until at least 15 minutes after I started riding. I spent a very long break at a truck stop, after riding just 28 miles, and really had some serious doubts about the whole ride. My right knee has been hurting for the last couple hundred miles, and the wind today just kicked me in the teeth. As I sat there, sweating, stinky, and hurting, I began to ask myself why I was doing the ride. I had a conversation (both in my head and out loud) about what "success" would look like for this ride. If I stopped now, with just over 500 miles on the bike, would that be enough? Do I have to get to 1,000 miles? 1,500? 2,000? The entire 2,492?
I finally relaxed slightly, and after a serious conversation with Kelly (and some internal tail-chewing), I got back on the bike. During the morning ride, I just couldn't find a comfortable position on the bike. I tried various adjustments, and nothing seemed to work. After this break stop, I was able to get back into "the groove" a little bit, and the wind also seemed to calm down slightly. I spent the next portion of the ride in relative comfort, and the miles floated by.
In the early afternoon a fairly impressive thunderstorm rolled in while I was at another break stop (as I have said previously, I enjoy the breaks!), and I watched the sky turn black, rain come down in sheets, and the wind throw debris around. It reminded me so much of the thunderstorms I had experienced in my grandparents' house in Kirksville, MO, during the summers I spent there as a kid. The booming of the thunder would make their whole house shake, and would terrify me as I tried to sleep.
After the storm, the sun stayed tucked behind some clouds, the wind slowed down considerably, and I started to feel really "good." I rode into Carterville, MO, and stopped at the Superman museum and ice cream shop. The owner had a red Camaro, which was the only vehicle parked in front, and from a distance it looked like Lightning McQueen himself was stopping in for some ice cream. I had a great time looking at all of the various Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and other superhero memorabilia in the museum, and the cookies 'n cream ice cream was fantastic!
I then rode into Joplin, and as I exited a short section of a bike trail through the woods, the smallest foal deer I have ever seen was wandering around, looking lost, without an adult deer anywhere close (that I could see). She finally jumped back into the woods, and I had to ride on. At the campground, Debi set up a portable bathtub with some Epsom salts, and I had a nice soak, much to Addy's amusement.
Miles today: 85.0
Total miles on the bike: 661.5