Breakfast was amazing at the hotel...eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, etc. George left early and Josh and Seth tried to talk me into a zero!...Tried being the keyword. I was able to resist as I felt pretty good this morning, and we left a little after 9. I'd rather save a spontaneous zero for a rainy day. :)
We planned 64 miles today since we had pushed an extra 15 yesterday. Today's ride began the same...hot, humid, and hilly. I was feeling good and we all stopped at a Subway 27 miles away for lunch. George was just leaving as we pulled in, and Mick and Claudia were there as well. Josh, Seth, and I left together and we crossed a bridge about 5 miles out with a beautiful river beneath. We turned around and headed down to the water for a dip. The water was 2-3 feet deep in some places, and more shallow in others. It was cold but so refreshing! I went in with all of my clothes on, promised by the guys that I would be dry in 30 minutes tops. Unfortunately I rode in what felt like a wet diaper for 2.5 hours! Don't think I will be swimming in my bike shorts again.
After the break my energy started to gradually fade as we continued up and down, up and down. The hills got bigger and the views more expansive...I'm really enjoying Missouri! We came to a small town that was supposed to have a convenience store...the store was there but since it was Sunday, it was closed! We were running a little low on water but with 17 miles to go we figured we would be okay. After 10 miles, Seth saw a man outside his house and decided to ask him for water, and came back with a bottle full of ice water. So good! The man told him it was 7 miles to town, "all downhill from here." In my exhaustion I forgot the lessons I've previously learned and believed him. Well, it's never "all downhill". It was more ups and downs and I was so hungry all I could think about was getting to town! We passed George and Claudia who had stopped at a river and were sitting with a group of people down by the water. We decided not to stop but found later they had gotten free bratwurst, potato salad, and other goodies! They had also gone swimming and jumped off of a 30 foot cliff into the river. I guess we missed the party!
We got to town and found Josh at Taco Bell. George, Mick, and Claudia arrived and we decided to ride to the city park to camp for the night. It is incredibly humid; I washed up and I am still sitting here dripping with sweat. It is going to be a sticky night in the tent!