Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 21: Ozara, MO to Centerville, MO (79.5 Miles)

One cramped motel room filled with four riders can develop quite the concoction of potent smells. After sleeping soundly next to the warmth of Dowds, I was rudely awaken by the beeping of my wristwatch. I contemplated sleeping in and I should have seen this as proper insight of a forthcoming day of liquid discomfort. Callum decided to join me for the morning ride so that we could stop in at Farmington for a good long breakfast-break, where Chris and Dowds would soon join us. The sky this morning was outstanding, yet I should have know it was the only time I'd see the sun all day.

I started to become aware of the darkening sky around us and promptly put on my rain covers and jacket. Within minutes it began to drizzle and then develop into a consistent blanket of wetness. The Brits, with their racing mentalities, pushed onward as I kept my slow and/or steady pace. The ride was filled with more steep climbs and disappointing descents (the rain stings at high speeds and slick roads make for precarious turns). After a few close calls with lumber trucks, dodgy potholes, and abysmal shoulders spread along highways, I finally pulled into Centerville, a short time after 3:00am. I found the boys eating/sleeping at “Paula's Home Cooking,” and I joined them for a late lunch/early dinner.

I think we're setting up our tents outside the courthouse in town (there's not much here besides this restaurant, gas station, and a post office), unless it continues to downpour, because Paula offered for us to sleep in her adjacent (temporarily closed) thrift shop. I'd much prefer this option; however, the rain seems to be lightening up and I think we're going to be outside for the evening. In any case, I'm just very hopeful for a good night's rest, because the toughest climbs of the Ozarks lie ahead of us tomorrow.


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