Posted by: bikedave | August 14, 2010

August 13, Alley Spring, MO to Centerville, MO

The Ozark mountains are not very high.  Most of the area has an elevation of between 750 and 1750 feet.  The terrain however is quite rugged.  What was once a large plain has been carved by thousands of years of erosion, into a matrix of canyons and hills.  Because of the difficulty of transportation in this challenging terrain, the Ozarks were late to be settled. For many years, those that made this area home were for the most part isolated from the outside world. My ride today gave me the experience, first hand, of the challenge of transportation in this area.  The first 32 miles from Alley Spring to Ellington was through these hills and canyons.  The roads were almost never level, always climbing or descending, and often with steep grades.  This area’s natural beauty is as extreme as it’s terrain.  Often the two will combine to take your breath away.

Near Owls Bend, MO

The day started out with morning fog in the valleys.

Morning fog in the valleys

Some of the hilltops were only partially cleared for pasture.  Many were still forest.

Grazing among the pines

There were only a few places where I could see this far ahead.

Crossing the Current River

Another hill

The road from Elllington to Centerville had been built with a more modern design.  The grades were long but no steeper than 6 or 7%.  Traveling on this part of today’s route was easier.

A rare sight, flat land near Centerville, MO

I finished the day in Centerville.   We spent the night at a small truck stop where we rented a DVD for a special treat.

Between the high temperature, high humidity, and the terrain, today has been one of the most physically challenging days on this trip thus far.

I’m still smiling.

Miles today: 47    Total miles: 2,801

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