Home Sweet Super 8 Motel

October 3, 2007 at 10:28 pm 1 comment

 

Taking a couple rest days in Farmington, MO for health reasons and desperate for news updates on OJ. The news is ironically and tragically amusing because you realize how similar it all is when you are disengaged for awhile, same story but different place and people, albeit OJ.

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We’ve made some significant steps in completing the ride. On Monday we crossed the Mississippi River and entered Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase territory. We biked on some levees in Illinois during a strong headwind day. The levees provide an awesome vantage point of all the farmland to the east. Found a boat ramp with a beach beside it and went for our first impromptu swim in fresh water of the trip.


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We are now in the Ozarks of Missouri, some of the oldest mountains in the world. The bedrock here is limestone and dolomite derived from the carbonate deposits when this area was under a small ocean hundreds of millions of years ago. The Ozarks have karsts topography providing very steep rolling hills, Ryan’s theme song has been Roller Coaster of Love- RHCP, very short lived.

The generosity of people along the road has been outstanding and pleasantly surprising. When was the last time you let three strangers sleep under the same roof as your family? Not particularly recommending it but very thankful for it. Like the Trail Angles of the Appalachian Trail some people have embraced the summertime biker traffic of tourists going cross-country and encourage riders to take a break, get cold water, shower, eat, and camp out at their homes. We’ve had overwhelming support from churches along the way- beginning to see the light, feel the warmth, and eat the home-baked goods at churches.

Our introduction to the TransAm Angles was in Afton, VA at the Cookie Lady’s place (June Curry). She has befriended bikers since the trails creation in 1976 and has become a steward of it. Her biker basement is filled with tourist relics ranging from jerseys, news clippings, old books, post cards, maps, socks, etc. As we were cautioned, lay aside an hour if you want to stop by because she has a lot to say. She recommended the Lees in Radford, VA, a well known pit stop for TransAm bikers. At dusk we arrived at the Lees, who beckoned us in for some hot pizzas that were consumed faster than the work of any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ®. Dr. Thaddeus Lee biked the TransAm with his two sons about a decade ago and his experience encouraged him to open his door to bikers ever since.

The next day Ryan saw a biker pull out of the local airport in Marion, VA and sped ahead to catch his draft. While drafting this biker, who happened to be an Emeritus amateur road bike racer, they struck up a conversation and ten miles later we were at Cecil Hicks house with his wife and son eating spaghetti and meatballs, showering, and eventually sleeping under a roof.

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By our survival learning curve and recommendation of Dr. Lee, Ann Marie was unanimously elected Head Ambassador with Ryan and me as her luggage boys. Just yesterday Ann Marie and I were at the Holy Grounds coffee shop here in Farmington, MO explaining to the cashier that we needed to pick Ryan up 20 miles outside of town for a doctor’s appointment. We asked for cab company recommendations and instead received three offers to pick him up, two from employees and one from a customer.

Although we are all Americans, belonging to one nation, I underestimated the bond I would share with strangers. Our country is so large that different states can seem like different countries, accents, traditions, and upbringings differentiating us. During the ride thus far I’ve been called a freak, nerd, Yankee, college boy, and some other ones. Despite the many ways we differ from each other it has come down to the basics of us all being people, and not to mention Americans.

 

-George

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Entry filed under: 1.

Update from the road Thanks and Happy New Year

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Aunt Harriet  |  October 22, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Well I’ll be, somehow I stumbled on the Eco patriots! So exciting to see photos. I love the one in the ocean. I’ve read every word and am so impressed with your exploits, staying behind a flagpole in VA for security? surprised it took you so long to make Ann Marie head ambassador and realize luggage boy is a good job when you are in such brilliant company as Annie Marie’s.
    We’ve been pheasant hunting in SOuth Dakota.what a beautful country and plenty of pheasant or “Rooosters!” as the natvie shout when you can shoot.
    How do I get directly to this blog. i was actually looking for news of Slyvie when I accidently found you and only had to push one button. Ann marie knows about my incapability with this new ffangled machine and can give advice on how do I go directly to a blog and then find you.
    Please give Will my love and tell him if he needs to rest to head for Germantown! Love, Aunt Harriet

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