Start time: 06.51
Start location: Lesterville
Start State: Missouri
Start weather: warm, overcast, damp
Total millage so far: 1446.41
Finish time: 12.00
Finish location: Eminence
Finish State: Missouri
Finish weather: Hot
Miles today: 52.65
Total millage so far: 1499.06
Today's top speed: 49.2!!!!!
Today's average speed: 13.6
Jean Michel Jarre Ė Oxygene
Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire - The Legend Of Johnny Cash
Kasabian Ė Empire
Kasabian Ė Kasabian
Kate Bush - The Whole Story
Blog for the day (Monday, 18 June 2012):
Right then, a continuation on yesterdays camping tales of the unexpected. As you might remember I had trouble pitching the tent due to the solid rock below the soil. It was very flappy and sagging all over as I unable to make it taught. As long as I could get in it and sleep, that was the main thing. There was the possibility of some storms that night starting around midnight. Just after midnight I was awoken by huge gushing, blowing, tornado style winds which were increasing in strength by the second. The tent was flapping, the trees were creaking, Ublad was frantically hammering down his tent pegs next door to me. This is exciting I thought, deep down I was sh*tting myself. Was it a tornado, were the group leaders going to come round us up and put us in the van? Had I missed this because of my earplugs? Was I the only one left? Will the tree fall and squash me? Ah, Iím sure I will be ok, there is no way my tent can blow away with me in it. Can it? That tent was flapping furiously now, then the lightning started in earnest. First I thought it was just Ublads torch light, which some of it was, but then the whole sky was lighting up all around, here, there, left side, right side, BRILLIANT!! This was going to be a huge storm as the first cracks of thunder started, followed by huge deep rumbles. I tried to imagine what the Indians would have thought of it all. Not even in Kansas yet and I thought I was off to see Toto it was that bad. The ground was vibrating with the huge rumbles which were getting louder and closer to the flashes of lightning. The storm was fully overhead for some time. The rain started lashing down, will the river burst its banks and wash us all away before the wind takes me off, or maybe I will be struck by lightning before that even happens. Of course, there is still the tree above me which could be hit too, or just break in the wind. Oh the joys of camping. Note to self, no more camping. So, I managed to sleep in between mother natures tantrums outside, when I awoke at gone 5am it was still going on with flashes of lightning. (Must ďlooseĒ tent when I get back home).
Anyway, thatís the dramatic opening to today's blog. Just to let you know, I was not drowned, struck by lightning, squashed by a falling tree or sucked off by a tornado! You can rest easy for now. Al;though there is a strong theme running through our camping expedience that near enough every time we camp, it rains. So the campground was ok, next to the river which was ideal for kids to paddle in, the water was really warm and I went and sat in it to read my book. Got a little red in places too. Think Iím putting on weight too, not good. So yeah it was very American, there were huge pickups, trailers and mansions on wheels all pulled up. Tons of junk piled about, toys, BBQs, litter and the like. All American weekend camping. Many too lazy to even walk to the bathrooms, drove their cars there! There was one group who turned up, who as usual with them, have to have their music turned up full blast, like as if everyone else camping wants to hear your R&B bulsh*t music. Go back to your ghetto, donít bring it somewhere beautiful like this and ruin it for everyone else. It didnít last two long as I think a couple of redneck local boys went over and had a word. Got to love that confederate flag!
I had a few problems with the bike this morning and throughout the day, chain dropping off, gears spluttering, generally a real pain the arse! The ride was good though, glad it was short as there were a lot of steep hills. We left early to avoid the heat, which we did Ė mostly, still, they were pretty tough. The drivers, I thought, were pretty good today, giving me lots of room, better then what it has been like recently. Still lots of road kill, frogs and grasshoppers, or locast or crickets, not idea which, but lots of them dead on the road. Also tons of litter too, see that a lot during this trip. Heck of a lot of Bud Light boxes strewn along the sides of roads. Is that all they drink here? Ar you considered weird if you donít drink Bud Light? A commie maybe?? So the hills were great on the way down, I hit 49.2mph today, highest yet on my BMC. I chatted to a couple of ultra light TransAm cyclists today, but missed out on the English and Scots guys who were cycling from China back to the UK. Made good time today and made it into a lovely camp, again by the river. We have a day off again tomorrow, so that will be good.
We had a family outing earlier to town, OMG how great was that! We went and had ice cream at this place and I've never seen anything like it. Fat, redneck, hillbilly's, locals, trailer trash, white trash, Jerry springer rejects, they were all here! I didnít know where to look first. There was no way I was going to take photos of them, even though I wanted to. If I were in their place, I might be a bit pissed off. Although I'm glad everyone else did as I can hopefully share some of their pics lol. There we were ogling the locals, but I think the word got around that some outsiders, fresh blood, cyclists freaks were in town, as well, the whole town seem to appear and want ice cream this very night! All shapes and sizes, young and old turned out. Eyes popping out I could hardly keep up with the comings and goings. It does seem that white trash the world over look and act the same. They all seem to have good skin and smooth, usually with tattoos somewhere, but these ones had belly's too. Smoking in the no smoking areas, driving around in their big pickup trucks, girls hanging out. How can I go back to my normal life of making porn now! After our visit to the wildlife park, we headed back. Not sure if this is the normí or not, but Paul took down each of the markers he puts out each day showing us the way to camp. I like to think that he took them down so the locals didnít know where we were staying.
Thatís about it folks. I'm in a cabin with all the girls this time. Scary! Iíve locked the door in case they decide to pin me down so they can dress me up and put makeup on their new ďsisterĒ! Must remember to keep leaving the toilet seat up ;) lol
Should I be calling the locals rednecks or hillbilly's? Not sure, this is their lives which we are stumbling across, it might be unfair. They are probably really nice people with good morals and lives. They are not real rednecks in that, not that we can see, are playing banjos and making tourists squeal like pigs!! Saying that though, we call the people from different local towns up the road all different t kinds of derogatory names, so maybe its just the way we are. So the jury is out, II will just write how and what I think. Hopefully it doesnít offend too many people, mostly its all in jest and a bit of a laugh