Day 42 – Confederate Flags, Ozark Rednecks, and 7 Turtles Saved

Today’s Route

Rode 73 miles from Ellington to Farmington, MO. No more black diamond hills from yesterday. Back to roller coaster hills – lots of slow parts followed by lots of fast parts. Up and over the Ozark Mountains –it was an exuberant ride in spite of the humidity (82%!). With 10 miles left it started to thunder and rain and we welcomed the reprieve from the humidity. Tonight is our last night in Missouri. Tomorrow we cross the border into Illinois!

Confederate Flags

I’ve heard about rednecks and I’ve read about the lingering upset in Missouri spawning from the Civil War era, but I hadn’t witnessed anything of the sort in 5 days of riding in this state. I was concerned that I might reach the border without experiencing this, but the rednecks in the Ozarks did not disappoint! Today I saw a house decorated in 5 Confederate flags, one of which was propped up by a statue of 2 little black boys, lest we didn’t get the message. (I’m sure the owner is none too happy about the same-sex marriage vote in NY either…) (and no, I’m not going to post the picture of the flags and promote his message. This one was just a cool picture that Justin took.)

Redneck Dogs

Rednecks have nasty dogs. I’ve heard about these dogs from other cyclists heading West. Today I encountered them. I was warned about 3 nasty, redneck dogs that were waiting to charge me on my ride down the Ozark Mountain, so I was prepared. As I descended, I cycled like I was in a race, saw them before they saw me, picked up my speed to 30, and passed by before they could reach the road, baring their teeth and growling viciously. (My dog Elwood would similarly charge cyclists, but only to get a belly rub!)

Saved 7 Turtles Today!

Being the turtle whisperer, I’m fairly certain that it’s the 82% humidity that brings out the boldness in turtles, making them want to cross busy roads. I found 7 of them today on this journey about to be crushed by cars. So I picked up each one, and moved them out of the road and into safety. (Here’s a picture of one of the little buggers I saved!) 

Day 42 Stats

Day 42 miles: 73.53 miles

Total mileage: 2,690.92 miles

Day 42 ascent: 3,760 ft of slow parts

Day 42 descent: 3,520 ft of fast parts

Total interviews: 70

Road kill count: 784
(added 79 today, but saved 7 turtles!)

Don’t forget to send me your guess for the total road kill count by midnight on Mon the 27th. I’m giving away 10 books to the 10 people who come closest to the final count. (See Day 39 blog for the scoop and the ground rules that I concocted.)

Destination for Day 43: Chester, Illinois! (just north of Carbondale)

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About moxieride

I'm the Founder of LifeMoxie and I'm riding my bicycle across the country this summer to celebrate people who love their jobs and to celebrate the moxie managers who help us make work matter.
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