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Day #32

I’m in the Public Library of Marshfield, Missouri. Marshfield has a population >5,000, so it’s one of the larger towns that I’ve seen in a while. With the exception of the librarian Nazi, the people I’ve met so far in Marshfield (at the supermarket) have been great. About a dozen people asked about my trip and wished me good luck. A passing UPS guy/backpacker gave me $20, and a cool old hippie gave me $8–bringing my total funds raised this trip to $48.01 😀

While at the supermarket, a boy left the door open. When his father told him to shut it, he explained to his son how the building was air conditioned–requiring energy, and how every bit of energy requires the use of fossil fuels. Therefore, he said, we should conserve energy by leaving the door shut. It was a very important lesson to be taught, and I’m glad I’ve made it to a section of the United States with people who actually realize these issues.

Yesterday was my 1 month anniversary; I ran into other cyclists on 3 occasions. First, I ran into Matt–who was traveling solo from San Diego, CA to New York. We had a chat as he ate lunch at a local bar & grill. He called me one of the most “improvisational” cyclists he’s met. Thanks for the coke, and good luck with the rest of the trip and on the move from Colorado to Atlanta; maybe we’ll bump into each other in the ATL in the future!

About a mile after I hopped onto the Missouri-38, I crossed a guy going to Oregon via the Trans America who started from his home in Virginia. He was the second person I’ve crossed on the trail who was going my direction, so I was ecstatic to pair up with him. But, I knew I was in for trouble when he said he’s been averaging ~100-120 miles per day. I kept up for about an hour, but it wasn’t long before I slowly dropped behind on these Missouri rolling hills. I never got his name, but I’m going to call him “Wonder Man,” for 2 reasons: (1) He wore a polka-dot cycling jersey that reminded me of Wonder Bread and (2) he was a god on a bicycle. Thanks for the company and the reminder of just how poor of a cyclist I am. Again, I’m proof that just about anyone with no camping or cycling experience can hop on a touring bicycle and go cross-country.

About 20 miles later I got to Hartville. I was a bit upset when I got to town and realized the grocery store I was expecting to visit (the first one in 60 miles) was under renovation (which is to say there was no building–just a foundation). Anyway, I camped outside the police station (as they welcome cyclists to do in Hartville). After dinner, I was joined by a group of 6 cyclists + 1 sag driver going East from California. They were all from a frat going to school somewhere in Kentucky. Their ride was to raise money for Alzheimer research. No doubt through lots of hard work and serious planning, they managed to raise (iirc) >$40,000. Pretty impressive next to my $48.01. Good luck on the rest of your journey, guys!

A coworker of mine is heading out on an Iron Butt from Atlanta tomorrow. We’re trying to meet up in Jasper, MO tomorrow night–which is about 100 miles from me now, so I’ve got to get back on the road. I have to admit, I’m pretty jealous that he’s going to travel in 1 day what took me just over 1 month. *shrug*

5 comments to Day #32

  • Dad

    Can you elaborate on the librarian Nazi?

    • Anonymous

      (1) wouldn’t let me bring my bike into the library (2) strictly limited me to 1 hour despite the fact that there were ample computers available (3) made me give her my license so she could track my internet usage–even though I was only passing through, never to return again (4) yelled at me again for bringing in some water to sip on

      all in all, she was just a uncooperative bitch

  • Hi Mike:

    I finally tuned in to try and catch up with you and Quinn. Sorry to hear that Quinn sustained an injury so early on. Nevertheless, I figured someone’s got to chip and keep you going so we’ve sent a donation your way. I’m first cousins with Quinn’s mom. It’s great fun seeing your photos and reading about your adventure. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. Take care!

    Maggie Weiss and family

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