Posted by: bikedave | August 9, 2010

August 7, Pittsburg, KS to Ash Grove, MO

I started the day riding east from Pittsburg, KS on Highway 126.  In about 4 miles, I crossed the border into Missouri.

Missouri state line near Pittsburg, KS

At first the terrain was gently rolling hills.

Looking back at a farm I had passed in far western Missouri

Gently rolling hills near Jasper, MO

I stopped briefly in Golden City, MO to buy a cold drink and eat a sandwich.  From Golden City, I rode south four miles before turning east again. As I continued east the hills were becoming steeper and more numerous.  I was also seeing more trees, not just by the creeks and rivers, but there were whole tracts of forest in places.

Looking east near Pennsboro, MO

From Pennsboro to Everton, MO the route was quite hilly.  Often a downhill would end as the next uphill began, so that I could go as fast as I could on the downhill and zoom up the next uphill section.  All the way across Kansas, I can not remember ever shifting off of my middle chain-ring, but on the first day in Missouri, I’ve used all of my cogs.
There are a few homes scattered among the farms, more than I had been seeing the past few days.  As I neared the top of a steep climb four miles west of Everton, a house came into view.  As I came closer I could see about 15 bikes parked in front of a small shop building,  with a man about my age working on one.  I stopped to visit for about 25 minutes.  All of the bikes in front were for sale.  Most of them were cast-offs that he had repaired and refurbished.  He had an old Murry three speed that he thought would bring $25.  In Eugene, that bike would easily go for $100.
I noticed that there were a few outcroppings of rocks at the surface of the hills, and that flat rocks would often be seen in creek bottoms or the drainage ditches next to the road.  At the top of one of the hills, the road had been cut into the hill.  The road cut showed the rocks just a few inches below the surface.

Rocks just below the surface are seen in this road cut.

The last 7 miles from Everton to Ash Grove was still in hills but was easier going.  When I arrived in Ash Grove, Vicki was waiting for me with a much appreciated cold drink.  After a little rest we went shopping at three local antique shops.  Vicki was able to find a few buttons to add to her collection.

Main Street, Ash Grove, MO

We then drove to  a truck stop on I44 where we’ll spend the night.  Tomorrow will be a rest day.  We plan to visit a museum and Civil War battlefield near Springfield, MO.

Miles today: 68   Total miles: 2,616

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