Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, April 21, 2014

Missouri state line (Seneca) to Springfield, Missouri April 18

April 18..... 88.12 miles in 7:44.....The whole day got off on the wrong foot, yesterday, when I drank the Mexican Pepsi that Pam had bought a while back. It tasted the same as an American Pepsi, but it had Spanish writing on the bottle. That's all I noticed until I went to bed. I didn't even sniff sleep until after 4am. That Pepsi must have been loaded with caffeine. I woke up at 8:45 with absolutely no sound sleep, and I knew I had a long ride. We could have stopped in several places along US60 in Missouri, but it was a beautiful day, and I felt like busting out some mileage. The biggest problem I ran into was a wind out of the northeast all day, and I was riding towards the northeast all day. It was a mild wind, but it was enough to take some extra out of my legs. I also climbed and rolled over 2700 feet of elevation gain. My legs were tired when I finally pulled into the Walmart that Pam found in Springfield.

As soon as I crossed the twin rivers yesterday, I officially rode into the Ozarks, and away from the Oklahoma High Grass country, or green country, or the plains, or whatever they called eastern Oklahoma. The transition began in the Tulsa area, with more ponds and streams, more trees, more grasslands, and less of the brown grasses and dust that dominated western Oklahoma. Even though it is still dryer than normal around this area of Missouri, I know I'm not in the Wild, Wild West anymore. 

As I left the casino in the morning, I immediately crossed into Missouri, and began a gradual climb that totaled about 500 actual feet, even though it was very rolling terrain. Since I was in the Ozarks, I expected even more elevation, and I expected to see some mountains, or at least some hills. Even though it constantly rolled, I was always riding on top of a plateau, and after researching it, I found out that the Ozarks are pretty much a plateau, with creeks and streams caused by very heavy spring activity. The highest mountain in the Ozarks is only 2000 ft, and I wasn't anywhere near those mountains. I spent the day bouncing between 1200 and 1400 ft. 
I passed near many towns:  Seneca, Neosho, Monett, but never went through the towns, because US60 bypassed the downtown areas. I didn't take the US60 business routes that went through the towns, because I didn't want to run out of daylight, even though I should have explored the towns. The US60 design bypassed the towns intentionally, because someday in the not so foreseeable future, it is scheduled to become the Interstate 60 corridor.  On the second half of the trip, nearer Springfield, 60 did pass through the towns on Marionville, Billings, and Republic, which made it a little more interesting. 
US60 was a much more rideable road in Missouri than it was in Oklahoma. The shoulder was always good, mostly 8 ft wide, very smooth and clean. I have noticed that the people of Oklahoma and now Missouri, just don't litter like the majority of the American pigs that we are. There has been very little broken glass, and not very many blown retreads, considering what a busy road US60 is. Being Friday, it's always busier than other days, but I didn't notice the traffic so much because of the nice shoulder.  The landscape is mostly grazing and grass lands, with splotches of trees and forests everywhere. There was some agriculture, but not as much as I might have expected. Many horses and some cattle dotted the grasslands, but I didn't see many chickens, considering the large amount of Tyson trucks that were going by. I did see a couple trucks full of chickens go by, but most of the Tyson trucks were tankers. There were however, plentiful white feathers along the road, so chickens must be big around here. I also saw two dead armadillos, and I was surprised that they were in this area. 
My last 15 miles, once I got into the Springfield city limits, was just like an interstate, and traffic was heavy on a Friday afternoon, but I enjoyed the drafting effect I got from the steady flow of trucks. The Walmart we stayed at was in a huge shopping area, not like the more rural Walmarts where they let RVs stay. Many times the city Walmarts don't allow RVs. We got lucky, and once again got to take advantage of our solar panels for a free night of camping.

Entering our 24th state!

Granby water tower - oldest mining town in the southwest!!

State roads in Missouri are lettered!

Tractor parade!  Actually it was some guy's collection in the field

What is a smack out???

A dead armadillo


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