47 miles. Hilly but OK. We took some steps to make it easier to climb hills - we threw away or sent home about 6 1/2 pounds of stuff and then Riley took about 8 pounds of the remaining weight from Becky's bike - it helped. We feel less discouraged - BTW, thanks, Heather, for your words of encouragement!
It's late and we're beat so just some highlights:
- Up at 7:30 for one of our favorite camping/cabin-type activities: A coffee walk. We made our Starbucks Instant while we dressed, then, coffees in hand, strolled around the campground enjoying the emergence of fall, the busy gray squirrels, the sounds of geese taking off for the day and the sight of 2 large white birds floating majestically on the opposite side of the pond - too far away to tell if they were pelicans or swans.
- Great cabin breakfast: 2 packages each of instant oatmeal (1 each of raisin/date walnut and of maple with brown sugar), to which we added raisins, fresh nectarines and liquid milk - since we had a fridge we could have milk = ) = )!
- Seven deer crossing the road as we rode out of the park;
- Climbing hill after hill and just taking them as they came.
- Second breakfast at Kit's Cafe in Hannibal (?): Corned beef hash, eggs, good homemade bread toast, and coffee - good thing, because we didn't really have lunch - just a couple of snacks.
- Rushing to beat the rain that never came, although it threatened and sprinkled a bit much of the day.
- Crossing the Salmon River in Pulaski and seeing a whole line of fisherman hip-deep in water, fishing. There are signs up on many businesses, bars and motels welcoming the fishermen, and the restaurant was full of them at dinner.
- Admiring the full moon as we walked to dinner.
For Wednesday, 9/22: We awoke to rain and it is still raining and a fair amount of rain is predicted for the next couple of weeks. BOTHER! We considered taking a layover day but decided to plow ahead - especially when we found a great-sounding cabin with a kitchen in Redfield, which is where we planned to go today anyway, had it not rained. We will be at the Crossroads Inn and Cabins in Redfield (pop 607).
It is only about 17-18 miles from here, but with about 800 feet of climbing, and it will put us in position for 1000 feet in about 23 miles on the next riding day.
We are in a sparsely populated area and there aren't many places to stay in the next 100 miles or so . . .
For Those Who Want More: There isn't any more!