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How cool was it that pastor Dave offered his church’s gym to Terry and I for the night! Terry and I both slept well, and were up and ready to go. We had some of the food that Dave had offered us from the church’s kitchen. Then I went to Cooky’s Cafe before leaving Golden City…I had to try a slice of one of their famous pies. I had the blueberry dutch with some vanilla ice cream. Normally I would not eat this — especially in the morning, but riding my bicycle across the U.S. and expending about 6,000 – 7,000 calories/day isn’t normal. Thus I can pretty much eat what I’d normally not indulge. That’s one of the beauties of this bike tour. Aw Yeeeeah!

After only 15 miles, bam…the wind and rain came, and quickly. I found an abandoned house with a large porch, where I was able to get some refuge. It took about 30 minutes for the storm to pass, but once it did, I was ready to go. The terrain was becoming more hilly and curvy, which was fine with me. Sure, you have to pump it up some of those hills, but then you are rewarded with hauling ass down the other side. That really makes it worthwhile. Two dogs popped out of nowhere and ran right up to me, but they did not bark or nip at me. In fact right as they were just a few inches away, they immediately just turned their heads and ran back to their homes. Phew! I do have some mace in my front bag (strapped to my handlebars), but I won’t use it when dogs come from someone’s front yard. They are a nuisance, but mace would be too much….it would be out of line. However, if there is a dog coming at me, barking and growling….and there are no houses in sight, you bet your ass that dog is getting some spray action. Some dogs are wild, and they also run in packs. I love dogs, but I have no tolerance for getting bit, and possibly contracting rabies.

One thing about today’s ride that was cool was when I came into Ash Grove, a town of about 1,200. It was called “Fred Boone’s town”. He was the youngest son of Daniel Boone. I gave my father a call and told him about Fred Boone’s town. My father has constructed our family tree, and part of our geneology goes back to the days of old Missouri. In fact my great, great, great, great (there might be one more) grandfather married Daniel Boone’s sister Hannah Boone. I always thought that was damn cool of my gggg-grandfather to do that (I wonder what they did on their first date?). I spoke with a local convenience store operator…who told me some history about Fred Boone. This was a good stop. My Dad also appreciated the call from me….my explaining where I was and the history of the area.

I continued on to a small town called Millard, and then from there I turned South and biked another 15 miles to Springfield. The plan was to visit Mother’s Brewery on Wednesday, July 31. I spoke with Stuart Murr who works at Mother’s Brewery. I was going to meet him at Mother’s as I was arriving there at about quitting time. You see, by coincidence, Stuart was my Warm Shower host for the next three nights. Cool! So we met Stuart who was just finishing his work at the brewery, as the Facility Manager of this building, which used to be a bakery. We then went downtown, a revitalized area, and had dinner at a cool restaurant called Grad School (a perfect name for this area, given there are two Universities in town, most notably, Missouri State University. Stuart’s wife Kate arrived with their two kids, Brady (6 yrs) and Jane (8 yrs), as well as another couple. Fortunately we had a very long table and everything was fine. I had a delicious burger and fries (with a Lil’ Helper beer from Mother’s Brewing Co). I was peppered with questions from everyone about Why? How long? Where? What’s your motivation? Etc. It’s ok, people want to know, and I’m happy to answer their questions the best I can.

After we arrived home, I took a shower, then called it a night. Thanks for letting us stay with you Stuart and Kate!