7/11/15: 63 miles, Farmington, Mo., to Ellington, Mo.
First of several tough days ahead. We didn’t bolt from Farmington right away as we decided to wait for Trans AM Cyclery to open so John could get a new tire and some spokes.
From Farmington, the route snaked along U.S. Bike Route 76 into the Ozarks proper. Lots of hills, lots of traffic. We got honked at and flipped off by an Orca-fat woman on a Harley, which we henceforth took as the token emblem of southern Missouri.
A fairly uneventful day on the bike aside from the middle fingers, loud horns and coal rollin’ pickup trucks:
After lunch at a picnic pavilion in Pilot Knob, John and I caught up with Lexi and Sebastian. They invited us to take a dip in the Black River with them. It proved to be a popular spot for tubing, given the group of drunken teenagers floating down the river. Couldn’t blame ’em.
After a stop in Centerville where we filled up on junkfood and chatted with Mandy, the cashier at a gas station, we endured some longer climbs. They weren’t as steep, thankfully.
We ended up at the Ellington bike hostel. It was a small brick building, hidden behind the town’s picnic pavilion, about the size of a standard Midwest suburban garage. The kind of place you might have a weird uncle live in, maybe. There was a code we needed to get in, and the phone number on the map only got us to voicemail. Then, John remember that Jen from the hostel in Farmington had given him the code. He’d just forgotten. Voila. It worked.
We ordered a couple pizzas from Saso’s down the street, picked up some beer, and devoured almost all of it. What we didn’t drink, we left in the mini fridge for the next cyclists.