Care package from California arrives in Missouri with new socks

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 21, 2013

Each night when I have had a chance to get settled in and had enough food, I get out the map to study the possibilities for the next day.
Last night, I knew that today was going to be tough, and it surely turned out to be that way.
This morning, I rolled out early from Houston, Mo., and had very little traffic to worry about. It was actually a little cool, so I made good time for about 30 miles. I passed through Summersville, and headed for Alley Springs.
Alley Springs is a big tourist tubing area, so there were a lot of their vehicles on the road. During most of this time, I had a wide new road and it helped to make my ride smoother and easier.
The real climbing started pretty soon, and it was steep stuff. Hill after hill, the kind that requires a total physical effort. It was really hot by this time too, and because there were lots of trees around, not much breeze was noticeable. My sweat was pouring, dripping off my elbows constantly. The tallest and steepest hills were in an area defined as the Ozark National Scenic Waterways. I never really saw much water.
Finally, I arrived in Ellington. I had a per-arranged box to pick up at the post office, so I headed there first. Ken DeCesari, who works for the Sock Guy in Carlsbad, Calif., had sent me a package after reading about my trip online in the Post. He sent me two pairs of cycling shorts, a bike shirt, some socks and a bunch of Clif Bars. All of it is greatly appreciated. My socks are worn out, and they will go in the trash tonight. Thanks, Ken.
I got tips from the post office about where to get good ice cream, the grocery store, and other stuff. I have a nice room at Scenic Rivers Motel at a reasonable rate.
Once again, I don’t have cell coverage here. Hopefully, in just a few days, that issue will be a thing of the past.
Total mileage for today was 72, and I am pleased with that.
Ellington was a hotbed of controversy during the Civil War. Both sides had strong factions locally, and armies from both sides were also in the area. The Confederate Army burned the courthouse here, and at least at the start of the war, the state was considered a slave state.
Tomorrow, I will leave early again, needing to make Farmington before too late in the afternoon. The bike started to make a couple of extra noises today, and I want to check these out.
The Mississippi River is just a few days away. I will get to cycle along it for while on the levee.