Unlike my friends in other locales, I don’t see many stone walls during my wanderings.  It seemed good to stop a moment and ponder.

The one who placed the first stone instructs us in the virtues of vision, patience, and hard work.  


MO Trip 4/4

After reversing my prior days ride and returning to Springfield, I knew I’d need some food before starting my long trip back home.  GravelDoc had recommended visiting the downtown area, and mentioned that there’d be one of his favorite bike shops and food options.  So I packed up my things and drove from the trailhead toward downtown.

One the way, I spotted this curiosity.  At first, I thought I’d found another bike shop, but there are signs clearly stating “Bikes are not for sale”.

It appears that someone simply fenced their driveway and yard with bicycles.  Why didn’t I think of that?

I did find Queen City Cycles and also found that they had some nice vintage bikes on display.  I needed a new pair of gloves to replace some that were worn out.  So I browsed a little, made my purchase, and headed for brunch.

Just up the road, I found a hopping breakfast place.  I was seated in a booth that allowed a watchful eye over my bicycle locked up outside.  It’s not often you’ll see my bike downtown with a lock on it.  Yeah, I know the lock is supposed to go through at least one wheel.  Sometimes I flirt with danger.

Filled and content, I aimed the truck back toward the more mundane and pushed a different kind of pedal forward.

MO Trip 3/4

It was probably the easiest possible credit card tour practice run. The idea was to pack only what was needed to ride the Frisco Highline Trail from Springfield, Mo to Bolivar, MO, spend the night in a hotel, and ride back the next day.  Buying food along the route, and sleeping in a hotel is certainly more expensive, but it offers the ability to travel light, and comfortable, restful accommodations.  For my practice run, I didn’t have too far to go, the route was easy to follow, provisions were easily obtained, and I was under no time pressure.  I even had a arrangements for company during the evening meal.  What could be easier?

 The beginning of the trail in Springfield.

 It begins paved and smooth.  There were numerous locals out riding, running, or walking in the pleasant early morning.

 Eye-catching decoration along the trail.  This was at a bike storage place near Willard, MO, if I recall correctly.

 We don’t have this kind of “bicycle infrastructure” in Sanger, Texas.

 The trail looks like this as it crosses through small towns along the way.

 Art meets art.  I had to wonder how many photos have been taken of someone’s bicycle leaning against this wall.

After about 8 miles, the pavement ended and the more urban “exercise trail” feeling was transformed into more of a country path feeling.  Works for me. 

 The trail is mostly surrounded by trees, but openings occur periodically offering views of the rolling countryside.  Since I live on the prairie, I enjoyed the trees (and the shade they provide), but a change of view was refreshing from time to time.

 This tiny guy could have fit in the bottom of my water bottle, but he seemed to have no fear.  He stood his ground in the middle of the trail and glared at me while I stopped to take photos, and never retreated to his shell.  Just gave me that eye until I pedaled away…cracked me up.
The look of this old time storefront caught my eye, but I was wishing it was on the other side of the street…in the shade. 

Walnut Grove, Mo.  An interesting small town diversion for provisions. 

 Large radius bends through the trees.  The shade cover made a hot August excursion quite bearable.

 Interesting structures along the way.  The light coming through the siding caught my eye.

 Rural charm.

 Bridge over the Little Sac River.  I spent a little time here exploring the sights.

 One side of the bridge…

 …and the other.

 Just another bike-leaning-against-bridge-rail photo.

 By the time I was this far along, it was getting warm out.  I was grateful for the shady spots along the way.

 I  find the stone bridge bents visually interesting.  I guess its the texture.

Another one of those side views. 

 And a view from one of the bridges that doesn’t cross a waterway.

 As one approaches Bolivar, pavement returns to the trail.

 I think I liked the composition of the tree, the reddish gate, and the small grove of trees in the background.

The Bolivar trailhead.

Once in Bolivar, I cruised around downtown, found a good Mexican food restaurant, cruised around town some more, found ice cream, and then rode to the hotel.  I was able to check-in just barely before the outside temperature hit triple digits.  Frequent friendly commenter to this blog, GravelDoc, met me at the hotel and drove me to dinner.  Italian food and talking bicycles makes for a pleasant meal.  After dinner, he gave me a thorough tour of Bolivar in the comfort of his air conditioned vehicle.  I wish GravelDoc was my next door neighbor.  He’s that kind of guy.

I have done several S24Os that included enough gear to luxuriously camp and cook outdoors.  The S24Os focus on enjoying the being at a place.  Many more of those are anticipated, but I also have an interest in doing a multi-day credit card tour.  The credit card tour provides a different experience that emphasizes pedaling and seeing more places.  Now that I have successfully completed a credit card tour over-nighter (and thoroughly enjoyed it), it is time to plan a 3-day, 2-night loop from/to my front door.  Perhaps this fall or winter…

MO Trip 2/4

Tracy Wilkins (the Springfield Cyclist) took time out of his weekend to host a late afternoon/early evening ride out west of town.  I had arrived in town to ride the Frisco Highline Trail the next day, and meeting up with Tracy was an excellent bonus.

Architecture is what you get when saving money isn’t the primary motivation in a building project. 

The fantastically versatile Cross Check

He called it a “sunset ride” 

So we took photos 

And some of the ride looked like this 

But as time passed, the sun fell out of the sky 

And the light became more compelling 

We delighted in the massive rays 

And when it became dark,
we pedaled through the countryside
listening to the sounds
This post is way overdue, but there’s no way I’m going to not thank Tracy publicly for a wonderful ride.  Go to his post for better sunset photos. Hey  buddy, if you can get down to Denton County, Texas, I’ll return the favor.

Part 3/4 will be Frisco Highline Trail report.

MO Trip (1/4)

Sometimes you have to set a goal, plan ahead, destroy distractions, and make it happen.  But other times, a door opens, the path points downhill, and all you have to do is walk through.  My MO trip was a simple walk through.

I’ve been seeking an opportunity to visit my dad up in south central Missouri for months.  When it materialized, it was delightful that other opportunities appeared with it.

These photos are from an early morning ATV ride down from the ridgetop to a spring-fed creek.  The photo above is where the perfectly clear water springs from the ground.  It is a lovely spot in the morning.  A cool breeze, the morning light, and the quiet set the tone for a multi-day slow down for me.

After a nice visit with my dad, I was able to meet up with a couple of blog buddies, ride the Frisco Highline Trail, and do a practice run for a future short credit card tour.  But more about those things later…