Yesterday, after reviewing the weather forecast, I made the decision to significantly alter my route and head to Branson Missouri to have a place to "ride out the storm" as Hurricane Laura moved inland and was expected to dump 4-6 inches of rain on the route I was planning. That was yesterday, today the storm path looks like it will mostly miss Missouri and parts of Arkansas. So, not sure where I am heading next....maybe Memphis. Today's ride was great, only 54 miles, but it was through the backroads of the Ozarks....a virtual rollercoaster of a route. Saw some amazing limestone formations and managed to play tourist this afternoon in Branson. Not many people around.
The last several days I have had a chance to reflect on my journey. It has truly been the sights, sounds and smells of rural America. The many welcoming small communities have been a joy, people have been friendly and everyone has been extremely helpful. An example, today a bike shop owner whose wife was in the hospital, offered to work on my bike this evening if necessary after he visited his wife in the hospital. Many small restaurants along the way have had journals they keep for cyclists to sign and tell their story. Convenience stores are the melting pot of America. Everyone has a story and wants to hear your story, they all want to know where you are from and where you are going! Oh, and did I mention that Gatorade seems to be the national drink if you hang out in convenience stores.