Our sleepover in the Hartsburg Volunteer Park gazebo was noneventful. Thankfully it was a quiet night other than the coyotes howling and the dogs barking at them. There was a baseball game going on nearby, but it wasn’t a problem. 

It was a warm humid night and we both didn’t need sleeping bags until early morning. We had the whole park to ourselves, but that’s not saying much because the park was probably a quarter acre. However, it was nice not to have to share a quarter acre.

The park had flush toilets nearby, and given the amount of liquid we both drank before bed, we had a few trips to make during the night.

Between 4 and 5 AM the birds woke us up. It doesn’t help that Natalie‘s alarm clock at home is bird noises. I think we’ve trained our brains to wake up when we hear birds. But we were hoping to get an early start so waking up early fit into our plans. (And the birds’ singing was beautiful and peaceful.)

We ate breakfast of quinoa with raisins, granola, and oranges, then packed up and took off riding by 7:10 AM.

A little over an hour into a ride we met a bike tour guide at a trail head. He gave us much-needed chain lube. As we talked we found out he had hiked a 1000-mile trail starting in Florida with John, the guy we had ridden with a few days ago – the one who runs the KT Caboose trailside diner.

On each of our rides there have been people we have met that have helped us in different ways. It is one of the aspects of riding that we like.

We made it to Rocheport around 10:30 and again ate at the Meriwether Café. We started with breakfast, because after all it was 10:30. And then immediately upon finishing breakfast we ordered lunch and ate that too. A couple hours later we were in Boonville, and so Natalie had another lunch and I had another breakfast.

After Boonville, the ride involved more of a climb, as we left the Missouri River basin. It’s still trail grade but with steeper ups and downs, which of course takes more energy and slows us down for the up part. 

One other thing we have been eating on our ride over the last few days are big pickles. They come individually wrapped. I know it sounds gross, but we first drink the pickle juice. It’s like we’re drinking sea salt and vinegar, but our bodies are craving it. Then we share the big pickle. We have one left for tomorrow. When Connie saw the package originally, in a photo, she thought it was a pickle-flavored Capri Sun drink pouch. That is what it looks like.

Our ride today was hot and sunny. Around 5 PM  We arranged for a hotel in Sedalia. We made it there a little after 8 pm. Once again our ride lasted beyond 12 hours. By the end of our ride today, we were both feeling pretty tired. We rode about 76 miles. Since it is supposed to rain we were grateful we have a hotel room. It is amazing how much better one feels after a shower. I had hoped so much that this hotel had a hot tub. I soak so well. Unfortunately, once again I was foiled. No hot tub for me!

We ate a ton today. We kind of made up for yesterday where we didn’t have very many food options. Yesterday the only places we could get something were two small bars, and they didn’t have much in the line of food. So we mostly were nourished by trail snacks the entire day. Today however, we ate for both days. That’s kind of how these rides go, feast or famine . 

Critters we have seen: owl, fox, rock chucks, deer, butterflies, bigger bugs, more mosquitoes lately, red-tailed hawks, turtles, black snakes, rabbits, skunk  

And we have heard coyotes in the distance on the nights we’ve camped.

This is our last night on the trail ☹️☹️☹️

Our last ride day is tomorrow ☹️☹️☹️

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