Posted by: rustymccain | July 12, 2011

Over the Ozarks!

We think we may have conquered the Ozarks. We don’t know yet. But we seem to have survived and won the battle. We are still fighting the heat, but today, the terrain started to level out some for us. We were lucky that most of the riding today was in a very rural area that is home to at least one state park. Therefore, a lot of our riding was done in the shade. What a huge difference that made!

Ray in Downtown Centerville, MO

I have to mention two things from yesterday that I forgot to mention last night. For those of you who know Ray, the first one is classic. We were both struggling with the heat, humidity and hills yesterday. It was a pretty miserable day. At some point a huge grader was trying to pass us, which was difficult on the hills. We finally waved him on and he passed. I saw Ray and I instantly knew exactly what he was thinking. Even in his worn-out state, I just knew when that grader passed, he was going to try to catch a draft. Sure enough, as soon as it passed, Ray began to ratchet up his pace. It was fun to watch as he gave it his best for about 3 seconds until his sanity returned. You can’t say that Ray Ashworth is not a competitor!

Missouri Wildlife

The other thing I wanted to mention was our lust for ice cream. It is not healthy, it doesn’t help us out, but we want it. I went to a store last night to get some ice for my legs, knees and foot. (Listening to you, Mary Ann and Coach Robert!) Ray has been going to the store at night and asks me if I want some ice cream. I always say “No”. He always brings some back. I always eat whatever he brings. So, I thought I would get him some ice cream, even though he said he didn’t want anything. Alas, the guy at the store said he had just cleaned his ice cream machine and didn’t have any. Disappointed, I left. But as I was walking back to the motel, the guy came out of the store, yelling at me to wait for him. He forgot that when he cleaned out the machine, he had a drained a 44 ounce cupful of ice cream. He gave it to me and said, “Maybe this will do for you friend.” What a nice gesture! I took it back to the hotel. Ray and I agreed that we didn’t want it nor did we need it. We ate it in about a minute and a half. That ‘s why we have gained so much weight on our weight-loss program.

New Friends from Norway

Now, back to today’s ride. We were riding in weather that was dangerous yesterday but early on today, was only unhealthy, so we felt pretty good about things. And also early this morning, we passed the 2,500 mile mark! The ride started with some climbing similar to what we did yesterday, so we were a little worried about our tired legs and dehydration. But the more we rode, the more level the terrain became. Still not level, but more level.

Along the way, we ran into Frida and Gunnvor (forgive my poor memory on the spelling), two young Norwegians who were headed west. They were understandably having trouble adjusting to the crazy hot temperatures and high humidity. But they were in good spirits and looked strong. We had a good conversation with them and made two new friends. The camaraderie we have found with fellow riders like Frida and Gunnvor, even though the conversations may last just a few minutes, is one of the highlights that we will never forget. Everyone is pulling for each other and wishing each other well. It is a great thing!

Leaving the Ozarks

We made good time for the rest of our ride and were able to cruise into Farmington, MO with a 58 mile ride in the books, before the heat got unbearable. As a bonus, we got a good motel, complete with Air Conditioning and Versus! We get to watch the tour tonight until we fall asleep at 6:33. Also, right in front of our motel is a Ryan’s buffet. We thought we would go in, eat all we could, then just sit in the chairs for a couple of hours then start again. As good as that sounded, we decided to go back to the room and get ready to head to Illinois tomorrow. We hope the heat breaks, as we have over 80 miles to do on our Jello legs. Wish us luck!


  1. I love the thought of you laying in bed with ice bags on your legs, you and Ray sharing some ice cream, and you typing up this blog entry. It seems somewhat memorable and maybe a tad romantic. Kidding. Keep it up Rusty… and you too Ray… keep racing those graders. The heat index was only 124 in KY yesterday. I’m hoping this heat dies too because it might just kill me to hang with you studs for two days! Wed, Thurs, FRIDAY!

  2. Jonathon, To add to your vision… for some reason I envision Rusty with a pink boa draped around him and fuzzy matching slippers on his feet, while typing the blog! And Razor with the green avacado face mask on and cucumbers over his eyes,,,weird-I know! I guess we’ll see for real, how these two Iron men really recover when we hang with them FRIDAY! See you boyz then!

  3. Eat, eat, and eat all the ice cream you big studs want to eat! You deserve it. It has been hot, humid, hilly, and who the hell knows what else on your journey. I am just glad that I know you two animals! Keep at it!

  4. and the beat goes on, yeah the beat goes on. 🙂

  5. RustyRay!

    Hope you guys are doing well. We met some of your friends this morning right outside Scenic River Motel in Ellington. We were thinking of having an early start, but the thunderstorm made us stay indoors and in bed for at least two extra hours, we didn’t mind though… 🙂 your friends used the same excuse, even though I think they have a car? 😉

    Anyways, wish you guys the very best for the last little bit of your great adventure!

    Our blog is:

    Cheers 🙂

  6. For support, I will have ice cream every day until you guys finish your trip. I am a giver that way…

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