Missouri has beaten me up. After such a magical time in Kansas, I should have put my mind in neutral and been open to another magical time in Missouri, but it hasn’t been that way so far. As soon as I crossed the border from Kansas to Missouri, the road shoulders became skimpy and dirty. The gentle imperceptibly rolling hills of Kansas became accordion pleats in Missouri. You can see them on the Strava track. They are described as endless and relentless, but, of course, they do end and can be counted. I didn’t want to count the hills on the Strava track, though, so as not to relive that effort.
However, there was something else going on. At dinner at the Crappie Hole in Hermitage, I was cold. I could not wait to get back to the hotel to dive under the covers and get warm. What I didn’t know was that I was already running a fever. From Hermitage to Osage Beach, Sandra had to coax me up hills. She’d offer Peanut M&Ms and lunch in Osage Beach, both of which had previously been good incentives but that now felt repulsive to me. I said all I wanted was a nap. While riding, the cough didn’t bother me. When we got to Osage Beach, I took a very hot long shower and took a long nap, but when I woke up, something just wasn’t sitting right. For me to ask Sandra to go to an urgent care place was significant. We found one in town that closed at 7 PM and we were there by 6:50, but I was refused service. The emergency room of the local hospital was nearby, so we went. We anticipated hours of waiting but it went pretty quickly. The doctor decided I had a touch of bronchitis and prescribed a short course of antibiotics. I have to say that the triage nurse, nurses, and doctor at the Osage Beach hospital were friendly, helpful, and understanding. None were from Missouri and one was from Kansas. They talked me into taking one day off of riding. This was a hard sell and contrary to my plan because I was trying to figure out how to finish the ride one day earlier on Sunday, October 23. Do you remember when the early GPS devices would say, “Recalculating,” instead of “You idiot, you made a wrong turn?” I’d have to recalculate my route and end date.
I was like a limp noodle. In fact, that is what I had for dinner. Plain fettucine with no sauce at all. When we woke up this morning, Sandra found a delightful prospect for breakfast called Blueberries. It appealed to me and I went, but I actually put my head down on the table while waiting for food, and then I couldn’t eat it. The only thing that I happily put down was hot tea. I could not wait to get back in bed. When I finally got there, I slept for four hours straight.
After that long nap, the cough began to subside and I had a little energy back, enough to write this blog. I’ll continue to nap and use little bits of energy for recordkeeping and preparation and I hope to resume riding tomorrow.
Start location: Hermitage MO
End location: Osage Beach MO
Distance: 46.8 miles
Cumulative distance: 1883.8 miles
Elevation gain: 2759.2 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/726042759
Special features: Steep rollers (up to 7%), heavy loud traffic, road construction