April 14, 1999
|I slept in late then filled out the postcards I bought several
days ago. When I stepped outside, the air was cool and the sky was dark and cloudy.
I left at 10am and it immediately began to rain. I was wearing a couple
layers of clothes but I put on my waterproof raincoat to keep my dry. The bank sign
read 45 degrees when I rode passed. I stopped at a store and inside I got plenty of
stares from the locals who were sitting at tables eating their breakfast. I imagine
they don't see too many cyclists, especially in the cold rain. As I was looking
around the store, a lady that was mopping the floor smiled and greeted me. She was
eager to help me find some snacks for the road. They didn't have powerbars but she
suggested Granola Bars and Fig Bars. I also bought some peanuts and Gatorade.
On my way out of town I stopped at the post office and mailed the postcards and previous journal entries. Heading north on 309 the rain got heavier with water pooling on the road. My hands an feet got soaked and very cold. The wind was blowing west as I went north. I found myself leaning my bike into the wind to keep myself from being blown across the road. My face was stinging as it was being pelted by rain, so I tried to keep my head down and just watch my feet. I also had to keep my right eye shut as the wind and rain were blasting that side of my face. My hands and feet got numb, allowing me to tolerate the weather a bit more since I couldn't feel the cold, stinging pain there anymore. I occasionally looked up when the wind wasn't gusting to take in the scenery. The cool air is easy to breathe and I could smell the freshness of the country...the grass and trees. Very few cars on the road made it peaceful with the sound of the wind and small hail hitting my raincoat. I began to enjoy the refreshing rain, but only for a few moments at a time as the wind gusts brought me back to reality. Then I began to sing "I'm only happy when it rains..." Then I remembered that dream about the latex gloves and thought "Wow! I can wear those under my gloves to keep my hands dry!"
I hit some downhills and... Ahhh.....it's COLD as I go 30mph!
Arriving at 23, I headed north to the small town of Ozark. Desperately needing to thaw out I stopped at "The Ozark restaurant and Pancake House." Inside I was greeted by a slightly overweight long dark hair and a very flat affect. She just said "One?" I said "yes" and she led me to a table, sat a menu down, and immediately walked away. I found the bathroom and took off my gloves to reveal slightly blue fingers. I ran them under warm water which caused that burning, stinging sensation in my fingers. After about a minute they were restored to just about normal so I returned to the table. The waitress came over and she was more pleasant. I kept smiling but no one smiled back. The employees there seemed a bit unpleasant. But I found a nice lady to talk to seated at the table next to me. She's lived in Ozark for 31 years and said "living here you have to be careful what you say because everyone's related to each other in this small town."
They didn't have soup so I ordered the hot turkey open face sandwich. The food was very bland, had no taste. The waitress never came back to my table to check on me or refill my drink. Geeez....Bad service and Bad food! That sucked, I'd been hoping to have a nice meal with pleasant people after what I just went through.
I left and went next door to the Ozark motel. There I paid $35 for a room. In the room, I laid out all my wet clothes to dry. I opened the bag in my trailer and everything was dry :-) I'd used plastic and tucked it down the sides this morning. When I got to the bottom though...water had come in from the bottom and a few things were wet :-( I went across the street and bought:
The table cloth will be used to line the inside of my trailer bag, I'll wear small trash bags on my feet, and the latex gloves are for my hands :-)
I put my glove liners on, then the latex gloves, then my regular gloves.... Perfect! No more frozen hands. The rest of the day I was extremely bored being stuck in a motel room and not being able to cycle. I hated it! I just sat there and ate until I almost got sick. And by the way, they had "Sweet Bouquet" soap, cracks in the walls, peeling wallpaper, and ugly pink tiles in the bathroom...
Today - 19.87 miles