Golden City, Missouri
I woke up around 8 AM. My body moist, and sleeping bag and bivy sack covered in a misty dew. My dream of cycling through the Rockies shattered. By the time I hit Colorado it just won’t be plausible the way I’m approaching the trip. I’m sure if I stayed in motels and hotels I would be fine, but that would defeat the point of the adventure. The main issue is not the cold it’s the condensation. Even on my sleeping pad so much moisture builds up that by morning my camping gear is drenched. I will make my final decision once I hit Pueblo, Colorado. If it’s not wise to continue on through the Rockies due to the cold, floods and snow then I will go through the desert and my next adventure will surely take me through Yellowstone and the Rockies.
It actually took me a while to fall asleep last night since this was my first night stealth camping in a city. No one saw me run up to, “The Marriott” sign and the knee-high grass made it impossible to see my position, but my nerves couldn’t help it. It ended up being the perfect spot.
Once I packed my gear and tiptoed my way through the field of tall grass and weeds I headed down Frisco Highline Trail towards a campground that was 16 miles west of Springfield.
The morning ride definitely chilled my bones and my arm and leg hair stuck straight out while I pedaled through the breeze. By the time I reached the campground the sun beamed it’s rays down at full force making me remove my cold gear. I plopped down on a picnic bench and read, “Kite Runner” while I laid my clothes and camping gear out to dry in the sun. A part of me hoped they had showers, but I haven’t bathed in such a long time that I’ve become used to it. The natural oils in my hair are beginning to make it stay in its spiked position. My facial hair looks like a child trying to grow out his first beard. It looks like random pubes are sprouting up across my face, but hey, I’m Irish so that’s why I can’t grow facial hair.
My gear dried and I headed back on the TransAm Trail towards Ash Grove. The terrain today consisted of steep climbs with the occasional flat section, mixed in with downhill slopes. At the top of each hill it felt like I was on top of the world. I looked into the baby blue sky and could see where it faded to a clear light blue just above the horizon. Not a cloud in the sky, not then or the rest of the day.
I ventured on down the winding, curving roads and on the outskirts of town I passed several tandem cyclists coming from Pittsburg. When I reached the city limits of Golden City I stopped at the nearby campground to rest and call it a day.
A local woman with two small dogs came up to me and we chatted about my trip. She told me not to worry about the town. Everyone looked out for one another and crime happened on a rare occasion with the exception of a revenge rape and killing of a sixth grade girl from Golden City. This shocked me. I felt remorse, but I am sure I’ll be fine. We parted ways and I continued to eat and rest on the pavilion, reading a chapter here and there before I passed out.