Day 26 - Ellington, MO to Houston, MO - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

June 7, 2021

Day 26 - Ellington, MO to Houston, MO

my favorite state so far

Pavilion near the hostel. Greg and Mallory pictured
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This morning was pretty slow and we didn't want to say goodbye to Greg. We were going to Houston today -about 70 miles away- and Greg didn't think he would make it that far today. Although he is really strong for being 66! We said goodbye and set off for the hills. From looking at the elevation profile for today, we knew it would be really hard. It was forcasted as 6000' elevation gain. We talked to a local who thankfully stopped talking when he realized what direction we were headed. He was surely about to exclaim that we were screwed. The hills started immediately. Luckily it was pretty. the hills were so steep and there were occasional semi trucks flying down to make it up the next hill. One time on a steep one, a semi tried to pass Mary and I and it stalled out. We caught up to right behind it and had to clip out and stop. Then the truck started rolling backwards and spewing diesel exhaust. Luckily we didn't have to jump into the ditch and the driver got it going again. There are alot of dumb drivers that try to pass us like that. It's not only steep, but it's blind because you can't see over the crest of the hill. We made it about 25 miles to a town called eminence by lunch time. We stopped at a dairy bar for fried goodies.

Pulling into the dairy bar. Not much for vegans tho
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The omnivores enjoyed burgers, but we just ordered fries and made some wraps with stuff we were carrying. As we left, Connor and Greg pulled in to eat. We said bye and pulled out for many more miles of hills. We started passing lots of rivers and springs. There is a spring we passed called blue spring.

Spring fed rivers
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It was 3 Mike's of dirt road off route so we didn't go, but it is 310' deep, flows 85 million gallons a day, and is blue from dissolved limestone. We arrived at another spring, alley spring, off the road which was magical.

So blue and clear, just a few feet from the source ( alley spring)
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We were just downstream from the spring and the water flowed so fast. Unfortunately we couldn't find a place to swim. It probably would have been dangerous though. We really didnt want to leave there, and that was about 40 miles in. So eventually we got back on the road and hit a huge hill coming out of the valley. I thought it was the hardest of the whole trip for me. I thought I was going to die.

This is fayer the climb out of alley spring
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After a few more hills we hit the top of the plateau. We stopped at a gas station and a local talked to us for a while. I asked if you can drink the water out of the springs and he said yes. It sucks we didn't know before because I would love to drink unfiltered and untreated water from somewhere. It's a bucket list item of mine. He told us they used to swim and canoe the rivers and chill up on the banks. He said it was around the time Deliverance came out. They would see tourists flip their canoes and would yell to offer help. He said they always got freaked out and left in a hurry, usually forgetting their coolers of beer. He said the hills should get alot easier from here on. He was right, although we were pretty burnt out.

This is after getting up on the plateau. I think it's going to be smaller rolling ribbons all the way to Kansas from here. Unfortunately no more springs...
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We also had a righteous tailwind pushing us into Houston ( in Texas county...). We arrived around 645 and went straight to Wally world (population 2000, nice) to find food. We are sleeping in the park tonight. Luckily they had just installed new showers and bathrooms. We set up below the picnic awning and cooked dinner. We got in so late and were all so tired that we barely ate and got ready for bed.

A weird photo told the awning
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So far missouri is epic, my favorite state so far. It's clean unlike Kentucky, hilly and pretty and the locals seem chill. There are even ATV brigades... 


Altitude gain:5800

These guys were doing maineys in eminence during lunch, this was at the spring
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Today's ride: 71 miles (114 km)
Total: 1,381 miles (2,223 km)

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