Today's Miles = 44.1
Average Speed = 9.8 mph
Maximum Speed = 43.2 mph
Total Miles = 1411.2
Despite how much I'm enjoying this ride, the fact remains that I am technically both unemployed and homeless. As I spent the morning riding out of Farmington via Engler's detour, my mind was playing over ideas for what I might do when I finally finish with this ride. I can't really say that I've decided anything yet, but I do think I've ruled out joining the French Foreign Legion for now.
Missouri has decided to give me a short warm-up before throwing the Ozark Mountains at me, and the hills are starting to get more serious. So far there hasn't been anything all that steep or long, but my legs are certainly getting stretched out once again. From the looks of the map I've got a couple of rough days of climbing ahead, but fortunately it won't take anywhere as long as it did to cross the Appalachians.
Around lunchtime I went a little off-route to visit a formation of giant boulders at Elephant Rock State Park, where I spent a little over an hour walking around and taking pictures. Once again my bike invited people to walk up to me and start conversing about where I'm riding from and to, and I talked for awhile with a gentleman from FEMA who was in the area due to the recent flooding.
My ride finished a few hours later when I made it to the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. In local parlance, a "shut-in" is what happens when running water gets confined to a narrow stone channel. Over time the flowing water erodes away chutes and gorges, and this park features some of Missouri's finest. The day had been plenty hot, so I welcomed the chance to go swimming in the cool water of the Black River before returning to my camp for the evening.