Storms

24/04/2010

There had been another storm overnight, and although it had abated slightly by this morning, it was still raining. There were severe weather warnings out over the area, and Missouri had been put on tornado alert! Just to the south of Missouri in Arkansas and Mississippi there have been major tornados today that have destroyed buildings, and killed people, with the death toll currenly standing at 9. Despite the weather I made much better progress over the first 35 miles than I did yesterday. I think knowing exactly where to go (without having to check the map) and knowing the terrain helps.

After passing the point I reached yesterday I entered the Mark Twain national forest (named after the author Mark Twain who was a Missouri native), and followed a ridgeline. This made for quick progress – the colours seemed particuarly vibrant in the rain, and at times it felt like I was cycling in the jungle. Almost as soon as I entered the forest I had a dog run out of the trees, and chased after me. I sprinted off, but couldn’t out run it, so I stopped and put my bike between me and the dog. It turned out to be really friendly, and just seed to want some attention. I got back on my bike and started riding again – only for the dog to follow me. The dog followed me, keeping pace with my bike for just over 15 miles, until I reached the small town of ‘Boss’. I was amazed that it could keep up for so long, but it was nice, in an odd way, to have some company for a while.

I had read in my guide book about cyclists rescuing turtles that try and cross the road, but I hadn’t seen any until today, when I found one about half way across the road. I stopped and kicked it off the road and onto the verge – it’s amazing how quickly they pull themselves back into their shells when they feel threatened.

About half way through the national forest I dropped down from the ridge I had been following, and had to contend with some pretty long and steep climbs. It’s really irritating not being able to hold any altitude, but having to climb up and drop down over and over again. I had just reached a sign telling me I had 22 miles to Salem, my destination, when another thunder storm developed around me. It had been raining all day, but now the rain became really torrential – accommpanied by flashes of lightning, and deafening claps of thunder. We don’t get rain like this in the UK – it was like someone was spraying a hosepipe full in my face as I was going along! I raced as quickly as I could to Salem, covering the 20 miles in about hour.

It’s still raining now, and there are severe weather warnings out for this area. I’m having a rest day tomorrow – despite a set-back yesterday I’m still making good time, and I have to rest my legs if I want to make it all the way to the pacific! Hopefully by Monday, when I get started again, the worst weather will have stopped.

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5 thoughts on “Storms

  1. The dog looks lovely, can’t believe he stayed with you for 15 miles! Glad that you are out of the storm, enjoy your rest day, you have had another fantastic week despite the setback with your spoke. Am off early this morning to Gatwick to collect Emma’s french visitors. ly mum xxx
    ps is that a turtle or a tortoise?

  2. Hi Ed,

    I like the picture of turtle and the dog. I cant
    belive the dog kept up with you for 15 miles.
    Good luck, from Charles

  3. Dear Edwardo, Phew! , we can hardly keep up with your exploits. Your lovely experience to the kindness of American folk re-enforces our experience. Have you got their address? You have shown great calmness and vision in your approach to problems and we could not be more proud of you.
    Watch the weather, you are entering Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz territory.We loved the “pootch” he seemed a friendly dawg,no pepper spray required here.
    I marvel at your phots,the roads appear to be totally devoid of traffic. Make sure to take timely rests, it is so important, and as I said before,routine checks on the bike. I gave my Probus
    an update of your adventures together with your blog address so you may get a few unknown mailings!! My new printer has blown a gasket and they are sending me a new one but this machine is still jogging along even without your support.
    Ed thank you so much for your mail quite marvelous in the face of adversity you are proving to be the champ we always knew you were. Keep the vision and drive strong. You are in our thoughts always .
    Much Love Granma and Grandpa

  4. Keep up the good work, ive been keeping tabs on you since you started,,,… its great to see that you have such a wonderful support system back home…you have the best sections still ahead of you so keep turning those pedals…from Colorado to the coast will be breathtaking….

    ~Jonathan from CA

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