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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 27: Chester to Farmington MO - The Ozarks start pretty tough

Friday June 13, 1986, 50 miles (80 km) - Total so far: 1,390 miles (2,237 km)

I finally crossed the Mighty Mississippi River into the state of Missouri today. Nobody else was up when I was ready to roll so I set out on my own today. I been felling like riding alone for a while and it worked out today since nobody was up early, including Gene. I grabbed some quick breakfast at the diner and someone paid my bill for me.

I crossed the Mississippi over a narrow bridge and stopped to take in the view. It is pretty neat to be at the Mississippi River and now headed into the west. I'll now be in my 4th state and plan on about 6 days of riding until Kansas. I've been expecting no flat terrain until Kansas so I'm expecting the hills. Missouri was flat for the first 15 miles then the Ozarks hit. The road ended up being very steep and pretty tough to ride today.

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The Mississippi River, on my way to the West

I rode the 48 miles to Farmington in about 4 hours and I arrived at 11am. I checked out the town and headed for the city pool. I swam and hung out for several hours before the BC group arrived in town. We all camped at the city park across from the prison. While setting up camp a couple other westbound riders, Vince and Angela came in and got setup for the night.

Fred came in later as usual and we had our usual post ride debriefing. Somehow I've been calling Fred, "Brother Fred", and I'm not sure how he got that nickname. Some of the other members of his BC group have been calling him "Steady Freddie", which is appropriate I guess. I had to tell Fred to get a shower at the pool because they were closing soon. Fred has this helmet that doesn't sit properly on his head, it always leans to one side. Fred told me he promised his mom he'd wear the helmet or he might not have brought it. I told him I got my 10,000th helmet lecture today and he laughed pretty good.

The weather was a perfect 79 degrees and sunny with low humidity. The evening was pretty good as we all sat around listening to Clay talk about the West. I have been looking forward to the west since the first day in Kentucky. Clay has a motto, 'The East is Neat, but the West is Best', he has been telling me (us) about the west. We also discussed if it was better to go W-E instead of E-W.

Tomorrow the plan is only to Centerville, about 50 miles away.~


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