We’re in Ozark, MO now taking a rest day here with a wonderful woman named Patty and her husband, Bobby. We weren’t planning on resting today, but as the fantastic dinner that Patty had prepared of deliciously seasoned garden vegetables, shrimp, and the best pizza we’ve had on this trip (Arri’s pizza) digested in our sleepy systems, we were easily convinced to take today to relax and explore the area a bit.
Patty moving her horse so Sojourner can have his pasture.
One good thing about riding longer days is you don’t mind taking an extra rest day here and there. We have ridden 120 miles in 4 days so we will still make our goal of 140 miles a week.
We went to see the town of Branson and, eeeek, what a jolt back into the hustle and bustle of consumerism and inflated prices. There is an outlet strip there so we thought we would see if we could get a good deal on some sandals that might last longer than 3 days and maybe find a camp stove as well (ours broke).
We were there for maybe 20 minutes, 15 of which were spent trying to find a parking place while unexcited, gravity bearing people slowly weaved in and out of the cars unaware of anything but the cell phone in their hands. Cars annoyed at the people, people annoyed at the cars. Nobody’s moving fast enough or the right way according to anyone else.
It just doesn’t seem like anyone really likes being there all that much but there are so many people there! It’s just so terribly boring and unfulfilling and you leave with less money and something you don’t care about.
We went into Starbucks because I wanted to treat myself to one of those sugared mess drinks (caramel macchiato) and the girl asked me how I was without really wanting to know. Never a smile. I ordered a small drink and it was $4.09! Is that what a coffee at Starbucks costs now? Four dollars for a coffee drink? I had to tell her to never mind and got an ice cream instead. When did this become okay? When did we start paying four dollars for one small drink?
Pretty Missouri field
Walter did find some heavy duty sandals on sale though, so that worked out.
Yesterday was a fairly hot ride. We had a nice visit the night before with Richard and his kids in Marionville. We all sat in the kitchen and talked and laughed while Richard made us fried fish that he and his son had caught and chips.
I went up to bed pretty early though and we were up and out before anyone was up. We rode 32 miles yesterday. At one point we crossed over a river and decided to go down to it even though it was a very steep slope to get down there.
Walter grabbed one of the empty feed bags out of the truck to gather up some cut grass that Soj really wanted so he could eat it later.
Walter didn’t think we would be able to get down at first, but I went to check it out and thought it would be okay. Sojourner slid down most of it. He locked his front legs and slid like goofy on ice all the way to the bottom where he landed in the water. It was a sight to see.
We untacked him under the bridge and left the saddle on the cement base and ventured down the river a bit. It was nice to cool off, but the river never got very deep. After about 15 minutes we headed back up again.
We were greeted by Patty and Bobby's collies. They're the best. Want one.
I was bent over in the truck digging around for something and then all of a sudden this soccer ball hit the back of my leg. This pup had thrown it to me.
Tomorrow we are riding to Ava, MO. We are getting closer to the Ozark National Scenic Riverway in the Mark Twain National Forrest. I’m really excited about that.