Day 4 – Hartsburg to Booneville – Animals and Adventure

43.5 miles – Total: 214.4 miles

Today was a bit more adventuresome that than we expected.

We woke up at about 6:30 ate breakfast and broke camp.  It began to drizzle as we started packing up.  We were thankful for the gazebo to do it under.  It made the job much more pleasant.  We suited up in our rain jackets and started out.  Within an hour, we were out of the rain and eventually the sun came out and the day warmed up.

We saw a lot of animals today.  Possums, squirrels, wood chucks, turtles, deer, rabbits, Baltimore orioles, cliff swallows, hawks, lizards, and the occasional human.

Since reading the “Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?” book, Keith has been looking forward to having a “second breakfast.”  So we started looking for a place to get one.  The first place we stopped said they had groceries.  Snickers, granola bars, chips, and gum was about the extent of their “groceries” so we each got a granola bar.  We stopped again in McBaine at a small country restaurant at about 11:00. About all they had that was vegetarian was a grilled cheese sandwich, so we each had one of those.

We hadn’t gotten more than a quarter mile down the trail when Keith stopped to read a sign.  When started again, his ankle turned inward on the power stroke and caught a chain ring sprocket leaving a gash about 1.5 inches long in his ankle.  At the initial look, I was afraid this would be a trip ending injury.  As we evaluated the wound, we found that it wasn’t real deep, just ugly looking.  Of course we pulled out our first aide kit and tended the wound, cleaning it out and putting a large band aid over it.  Then we wrapped it in gauze so that the bandage would stay in place and also to apply a bit of pressure to the wound (you will see this in some of today’s pictures in the photo gallery).  We took some trial steps on it he discovered that he could manage without much pain.  So we then tried having him ride his bike unloaded to see how that worked.  He felt pretty good so we decided to give it a try. The next trailhead was only 9 miles away and we could always bail out at that point if things were too bad.  So we reloaded our bikes and went back to the McBaine trailhead and got some water and then headed out again at about 1:30.  We made the Rocheport (the next trailhead) in good shape so we decided keep going.

Traveling a bit slower, but without any problems, we got into Booneville at about 5.  In Booneville we leave the Katy trail and head out on regular roads.  We had been planning on getting to Arrow Rock today, but with all our extra adventure we were not going to make that goal.

We have been hearing pizza calling our name for several days and figured that Booneville was where we where hearing it calling from.  The lady in the library told us it was just down the road a mile and a half.  It’s amazing what people who don’t ride bikes take for granted!  What she didn’t tell us was that within that mail and a half was a hill with an uphill grade that as amazingly steep—and yes she knew we were riding bikes and were fully loaded.  With one glance at he hill we turned into a gas station to revaluate how we were going to get pizza.  We remember one really neat fact about most pizza places—they deliver!  We’d make them come over that hill.

So the next task was to decide where to have it delivered.  We needed get some groceries and with the time it was getting we knew there was no way we were going to make it to Arrow Rock tonight so we decided to call it a day.  There was a grocery store across the street and we learned that there was a Comfort Inn just up another road about 2 miles.  The lady in the gas station assured us that it wasn’t as bad the hill right there, it was a gentle grade (remember what I said about people who don’t ride bikes).  We checked to be sure that the Comfort Inn had rooms and then went across the street to do our shopping.  On the way in, Keith reminded me that we had to carry everything we bought.  That was a good thing.  I was pretty hungry and might have bought more.  We made our purchases and then took them out to the bikes and successfully found space for everything in our panniers.

Then we headed down the road to the motel.  That gentle grade was steady, but it was also pretty steep.  But there was a motel not too far beyond the top so that was worthwhile.  On checking in to the motel, we were talking about our bikes and that all we had with us were on those bikes.  Then the lady gave us the obligatory paper to sign and asked us to write down our license plate number!  Keith and I had quite a few laughs this evening on that one.  They charged us an extra $5 to bring our bikes to our rooms, even after we washed them off.  If they had only thought about it – we and our gear were much dirtier than the bikes . . .

So here we are in the motel.  Keith is cleaned up.  The pizza is consumed.  We’ve redressed Keith’s wound and will evaluate it again in the morning, but I think we wil be able to continue.

Day 4 GPS Track

Note:  I’m not sure how accurate the GPS Profiles are from the last few days.  When traveling right next to a bluff the GPS can track just a few feet off and then the Topo software can place you on top of the bluff for just a moment and then back down below!  But you get the overall view.  From here on the profiles should be much more accurate.