July 2, Day 32
Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO
Weather: Wet for about half the way.
Well, the weather gods decided to ignore your prayers today, but all in all it wasn't too bad. We had been warned that the day would be difficult given the hills so we were on the road early at 6:30. The skies were threatening and for the first time the rain actually fell on our parade. Luckily the temperature was comfortable so although we were reasonably wet we didn't feel all that cold. The thunder and lightning hung out just to the west of us for hours with some pretty impressive flashes of lightning but nothing came close enough for us to get terribly worried.
We had been told that the first twenty-five miles were going to be relatively flat and then the hills would present themselves in all their glory. We were told correctly. Right about 25 miles the hills started. Some of them were mighty steep requiring that we use every gear that Tom at Tom's Bicycle Shop had installed. Amy suggested that a couple of additional ones might have been helpful. Apparently, there were a total of 99 hills in the last 50 miles. The total elevation gain was over 4000 feet. Riding these hills in the rain was exciting particularly on the downhills as the water on the road flew off the tires.
As we rode, we crossed any number of narrow bridges with signs announcing that cars going in our direction were to yield. John thinks he recalls looking over his shoulder and seeing signs suggesting traffic in the other direction was also to yield. This could, it seems to us, lead to an interesting situation.
Signs of the recent flood are becoming more obvious including deep mud along the side of the road and open fields that look like small lakes.
The second SAG stop was suppose to be at 54 miles, but because the group was so spread out, it as canceled. As a result, we, along with Sue and Audrey, took a bit of a lunch break on Rice Krispies Treat, raisins, and crackers. As you can see from the picture with John's bike in it, the clouds were chasing us.
For those who don't know it, Kirksville, MO is the home of Osteopathic Medicine started by Dr. Still, MD, DO. Since our son, Ed, is a DO, we certainly had to visit the museum which is really quite fascinating. Apparently, Dr. Still was the first to secure cadavers on a regular basis for his newly founded school. This created quite an uproar as evidenced by the headstone shown here. We have enlarged the bottom of the headstone for your reading pleasure, but for those of you who are unable to read that portion it says: "She was stolen from the grave her body dissected by fiendish men; her bones anatomized. Her soule we trust has risen to heaven, where few physicians rise".
Over the next three days, we will ride 97, 101 and 103 miles respectively. If ever there was a time we would appreciate your prayers for west winds and no rain this just might be the time. In addition, of course, your constant good vibes are always welcome.
Amy and John