Days mileage: 132 miles
Ozarks Ozarks Ozarks. That's all I've had on my mind from right when I crossed into Missouri and that's all I'd have on my mind unitl I cruzed on down that last descent and into Ellington.
It was a lot of steeeeeeeeep climbing....grades of roads I never really thoguht possible...but, slow and steady seemed to be the plan of action for such mountains.
I, again, felt like I was in Virginia...on the Blue Ridge Parkway or something...except no scenic overlooks to use as an excuse to pull over and catch one's breath. The only excuse I had to take a break while climbing was that my container of Juicy Juice somehow fell out and rolled down the hill I had just climbed....seein it was still halfway full AND grape flavored (the best flavor for juice)...I had no chioce but to dismount and go rolling down the hill after it...calling out for it to "hither to! hither to me Juicy Juice."
The rest of the day would be though. No way around it. Hot hot weather and lots and lots of steep, short climbs that tested my mental and physical determination. My goal, after gettin out of the Ozarks, was gettin out of Missouri.
Let's just say...when I got to the last climb, looked towards the east and saw a wide expanse of flat fields I knew I was dman close to the Mississippii river. I could see it more and more as each mile rolled by. Then I saw the brdige that would support my efforts towards Illinois....then I saw the state sign...and then I saw Pop-eye the Sailor Man....yes. This was his homestate too and a statue had been erected in his honor. I gave it a hug and had deep converstaions with him about why the Mississippi was such a big milestone for me on this trip...he just smoked his pipe, flexed his arms, and nodded in a fake sort of understanding.
I rolled to a Mexican restaurant and then to the city park and went to bed...
Goal achieved and Missouri behind me for good.