I want to thank everybody for their incredible support. The texts, emails, calls and messages, donations to MS. They keep me pedaling. My buddy Kyle Richards randomly calling me on a lonely morning. Mike Ausman sending me a downright inspiring email tonight. Court doing what she always does, supporting my ridiculousness. The over $10,000 in donations to the National MS Society. I am one lucky guy. I wish I could line you all up and give everybody jumping high fives like Rocky, Colt and Tum-Tum do after they inexplicably beat up a gaggle of grown ninja warriors (Trip Bucket list #7: Use 3 Ninjas reference in blog. Check).
In all seriousness, I had no idea that this trip would inspire this kind of excitement. I just wanted to do something crazy. I thought this would be cool and I’d raise a lot of cash for a good cause. You, those checking into the blog and throwing some love towards those with MS, are making this special. So thank you.
My last two days in Missouri made the last week of struggles worth it. I was outside of a convenience store in Walnut Grove, wolfing down a ham sandwich when the local cop pulled up. We chatted for a bit and he asked me where I was planning on staying tonight. I looked at him like he had asked me to recite the alphabet in Arabic. I hadn’t really thought about it. Some days it takes all of my concentration just to climb up into the saddle and move in a forward direction.
I checked my map and didn’t see any campgrounds. Not even a run down motel. I did see a hunting preserve, Running Springs Farm Hunting Preserve. I called and a nice woman said that I could stay in their bunkhouse, just bring food because there aren’t any restaurants, but there is a kitchen. Here we go, I thought, another cold night in a plywood cabin fighting off spiders. I stopped at a supermarket in Ash Grove and got the essentials. Pasta, canned chicken, canned green beans, and a jug of Missouri moonshine. I rode the 14 hilly miles to Everton, following the directions. I clumsily rolled two miles down a gravel road, falling twice. What have I gotten myself into?
I pulled into Running Springs Farm to find Bill Cork waiting in his golf cart with a cold beer for me. He opened the door to an oasis. A bed. A recliner. AC and satellite TV. Dead animals on the walls. It was perfect! Bill and his wife Ellie offered this to me for the night for 25 American dollars. I wanted to give Bill a big hug, but he didn’t seem like much of a hugger.
Today, two nice ladies from Iowa bought me lunch and pie at Cooky’s in Golden City and I left Missouri on a good note.