Location: Adrian, MO (City Park)
We had a pleasant ride today, a seventy mile ride across the rolling farmland of eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Our route away from the traditional Transamerica Trail continues to be exciting and worthwhile. We have visited some splendid small towns, including the one we’re staying in tonight, Adrian. The town has a traditional Main Street with shops lining each side of the street. American flags hang from each street lamp, and the sidewalks are covered with awnings.
We grabbed a drink at the drug store and then milled around an antique shop/flea market. An old man with glasses and a white beard welcomed us into the dark and dusty store. He had accumulated two decades of junk and piled it in the store. Nothing had price tags. There were tools, typewriters, dishware, paintings, and all sorts of electronics, all outdated and arguably ancient. He had trinkets of all sorts gathering dust on shelves. I took an interest in some of his items, especially a tin of old political campaign buttons he had in a glass case. I didn’t buy anything, but Brian bought a book on public speaking, a skill which he says is his weakness. When Brian went to the man to pay for the book, the man asked for a quarter. Obviously he was not in the business for the money but likely to interact with other people. Brian laughed in amazement and offered him a few dollars, but the man insisted on a quarter. He made Brian change, but Brian only accepted four bills and left one for the book.
After a stroll through town, we went to the police station to see if we could get permission to camp in the park. We did receive permission and directions to the park, so we have come to a typical picnic area in a typical park to make camp. We are listening to the Cowboys-Eagles Monday Night Football game on the radio. Neither of us is very tired. The miles just don’t wear us out as much as they once did. Seventy miles still takes five or more hours, but they don’t consume the same amount of energy as they once did.
The miles today were uneventful and relaxing. The rolling farmland is soothing to the eyes and muscles. It feels great to occasionally stand out of the saddle and pump the bike up the steep short hills. Several packs of dogs chased us today but none attacked us. Instances with barks and no bites I consider non-events. We’re chased by so many dogs each day it becomes routine. Of course, at the time of the chase, my heart races and I yell at them so loudly my throat hurts.
We crossed into Missouri today, and tomorrow we will reach the KATY trail, the reason for our detour from the Transamerica Trail. The night is cool and clear. We have finally escaped the repercussions of the many storm fronts that collided in the Midwest last week. I’m looking forward to 225 miles on the KATY trail, away from dogs, cars, and the people who taunt us.