(Night of Mon 30 May to Tues 31 May) 

We chose our tent site in the city park based on the flatness of the ground. However, at about 10 pm we realized we should have paid better attention to where the park lights were. We had a bright light shining down on us that lit up our entire tent. We were already staked down and exhausted, so we decided to stay put. However, as we slept fitfully we eventually determined to move our tent during the middle of the night to a section in the park that was better shielded from light. I slept better but Natalie not so much. About 4 am she put in ear plugs and was able to fall asleep.

As we started our ride on Monday we met a retired fellow who does a YouTube channel — something like Bluecollar Biker. He passed us early on but was camped at the same location on Monday evening. We chatted with him quite a bit in the evening and in the morning. He is doing this trip with an inexpensive bike and camping to demonstrate how little money is required to do a ride like this. 

We left around 8 am and had a generally downhill rail-grade ride for about 20 miles. We are still rolling slowly but our bodies are starting to acclimate to our activity.

Ate our mid morning meal at a gas station in Boonville. About this point the trail joined

the Missouri River, and we will be alongside it near the river for the remainder of the trail headed east. 

We stopped for lunch at a trailside cafe in Rocheport. It was delightful. We joked about ending our trip there and just relaxing for the next week in an Airbnb. It was the type of town that made that tempting. This part of the trail was also exceptionally beautiful. 

Overall the day’s weather was overcast, which helped a lot with heat, and the high was only 80 instead of 92. We were on the leading edge of a storm system throughout the day. We could hear the thunder rumbling but only felt a few drops of rain. Our friends in KC were reporting heavy rain and our weather apps kept telling us that would be coming soon. We kept pushing, hoping to bank as many miles as we felt able to do. 

We eventually made it to a trail shelter called Turner bunkhouse in the small town of Tebbetts, Missouri. The main floor of the shelter has 11 bunkbeds (22 beds) and a similar number in the upstairs room. It is just one big room on the main floor. There were two kinds of beat down showers which were pure magic. We’ve already reached that point in our ride where accommodations like this can be appreciated in spite of their obvious flaws. Perhaps the best thing about the bunkhouse, besides the weather protection, is that it is air conditioned. It was very comfortable relative to a tent and we slept well.

There were 4 other people in the lower floor with us. One retired man who chose to sleep on the cement floor in the bike storage room so as not to bother others with good snoring. Two guys have been on a two month trip from Kansas City to Washington DC and back. They are probably in their late 20s or early 30s and basically quit their jobs (one has a job cooking somewhere and the other was in construction). The other person looks a bit older and mostly sleeps.

It may rain most of today and into tonight, but we are prepared with clothing and gear and will stop and shelter if we need to. We have ridden in rain many, many times on previous trips.

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