Day 3 Bendavis to Gasconade Resort
We left Homer’s friendly farm in good spirits on Friday morning and made haste toward Hartsville. I realized that the mild soreness I had felt after the first day had developed into very sore legs. Riding was fine as long as I didn’t push very hard, but I definitely felt fatigued. Ryan seemed unphased.
I should take a moment to mention Ryan’s bread. He was carrying around 3 jars of peanut butter and a loaf of bread, which is funny because so far he had not opened any of these items, yet he had continually had to unpack and repack them to get to other items.
We made a breakfast stop in Hartsville and were joined by Jim, one of the Adventure Cycling Group riders. Jim was wearing a Harrisburg Cycling Club jersey so I struck up a conversation about how I was from Harrisburg IL. and he sat down to eat with us. The thing that struck me about Jim is that he didn’t look like he was on a bike tour. He looked as if he just left his house after a relaxing morning and a shower. The guy was extremely well groomed and clean, where as I was not. Jim was a great guy and he loaned me a Brooks tension wrench so I could tighten up my B17.
Before we left Hartsville I floated around a shortcut, mentioning we could knock off alot of miles by going straight North instead of continuing West for another 30 miles but Ryan was not interested and really I agreed with him, I mean we were here to ride our bikes not take short cuts. So we continued on to Marshfield where we transferred from the Trans America Trail to the Bicycle Route 66.
OK anything that I have to say about the Bicycle Route 66 has to be taken with a grain of salt. The route is 2500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles and we rode 100 miles of it, so I really can’t say much about the route, but I can comment about the route as it runs through much of Missouri. It’s mostly bad.
The route was mostly interstate frontage roads that were about 50 feet from the interstate, which really isn’t much different from riding on the interstate. The constant noise and fumes of automobiles is not really how I want to enjoy my cross country cycling. When the route entered towns it was like a tour of urban sprawl and tourist traps, again, not how I want to enjoy my cycling.
Now it wasn’t all bad, some sections we rode were of the old historical route 66, highways that were totally deserted, in some cases large 4 lane highways that were so dead and empty that it was eerie. Some of these sections featured the deteriorating landscape that would have been thriving back in 40s and early 50s. These sections were very interesting. BUT, through these historical sections the roadway surface was often very cracked and rough making for a less than comfortable ride.
Friday would be our longest Day at 97 miles. We passed through the large town of Lebannon around 6 PM and were more than ready to stop, but the only lodging opportunities were hotels and Ryan wasn’t interested in hotels so we continued on about couple hours to Gasconade Resort. Eventually we came to a barricade in a road because of bridge that was closed, it had been damaged by the floods. Luckily for us we were able to cross it on our bikes.
In short order we arrived the Gasconade Resort which is a campground for those wishing to float on the Gasconade river. As you might expect the campers here were a bit rowdy. The group near us stayed up until 11PM discussing all manner of things at high volume. Eventually some announced they were going to bed and fired up their SUV to run the air conditioner so they could sleep comfortably.
I was just about asleep when it began to pour.