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Saturday, July 16, 2016

June 2016

In the early part of the month I spent a lot of time working on the house and taking training rides.  I put the final touches on the bikes, installing full fenders on mine using some redneck engineering.  I did take the time to do some photography, mostly documenting insects that use our milkweeds.

I can't give a blow-by-blow account of Big BAM.  I wasn't able to keep a journal along the way, but I can mention some highlights.  The music was very good.  My favorite band was on the first night, the Kris Lager band, good rock music.  Second would be Final Mix, essentially a funk cover band.  I also enjoyed David Wax Museum and Bones, Jugs & Harmony.

The riding was challenging, with the heat and the hills.  The first day was hardest, covering 65 hilly miles. The fifth was easiest, 40 flat miles.  The towns had really prepared for us.  They all had a nice park or fairgrounds for us to camp in.  Chillicothe was probably best, having a large park with mature trees and their own water park, which we were able use for free.

One of the strangest things happened right as we were leaving St. Joe.  We were pedaling through a nice neighborhood, and there was a live bullfrog in the middle of the road.  The abundance and diversity of roadkills provided constant challenges to my taxonomic training.

We didn't bring our speakers for this trip, but our theme song was "Feelin' stronger every day" by Chicago.  It was appropriate because each day we became more fit, though we still had aches from the days before. So it was pain by day and misery by night, as we camped in a tent in the heat and humidity.  We adjusted fairly quickly to sleeping in pools of our own sweat.

We did take the opportunity to dip our wheels in the Missouri River at the beginning and the Mississippi River at the end.  It never rained, so I carried the weight of those fenders 300 miles for nothing.

We were interviewed by the Quincy Herald-Whig, resulting in an article.  I had a hard time articulating why we did it and what it meant.  I will say it was a rare opportunity to spend a week with my daughter, almost 24/7.  It was an adventure and an accomplishment.  I should also say that bicycling is intrinsically pleasing.

Upon our return I began preparing for the big move.  I went to the seller's auction and bought a few things, notably the firewood, which was already cut, split and stacked.  I loaded up my truck and trailer, the RV and the Lil Egg with some of our stuff.  After final details of insurance and banking, we went to the closing.  The sellers gave us the keys and we hauled out to our new abode.  Our address is now the following:

20697 250th St.
Lewistown, MO  63452

We have some acreage in the countryside, a pond, a few outbuildings, and a lovely home.  Now we just have to get all of our stuff out there.  I expect this will occupy me for weeks to come, as will sprucing up our old house.  One of the great points about this house was that it has a huge carport that we could use to park our motorhome out of the weather.  The first big disappointment was to find the the RV doesn't actually fit!  It's too tall by just a few inches.  Not sure how we're going to deal with that yet.

Photos should appear below.