6/4/2016: I awoke last night at 2:00AM to the clatter and crash of a lightening and thunder eruption- I thought we were screwed for today, but wala- in the morning high clouds cleared to one of those magical times after the rain. Sky’s were painfully blue, clouds white and scattered in patterns that a kid on summer vacation could imagine were childhood sports heroes like Mickey Mantle, Richie Ashburn or a dancing bear if you thought hard enough!! I usually ride with at least 3-7 other cyclist but after a break at 25 miles I let out for the next 25 miles on my own. Spent time just day dreaming, smelling the fresh air and racing up and down Missouri ‘s rolling country roads. Pure adrenaline and cycling Magic. Sweeping vistas spotted with smaller farms than Kansas and the air scented with cut grass and farm animal smells not the least bit offensive! The farms often had varied size ponds or small lakes which I imagine were filled with catfish and occasional fish abundant and inviting to the fishing rod !! We stopped on Rt 11 at the Badger Hill Farms and we were greeted by 2 ladies – the oldest in her 90’s who proudly told me that she left Missouri briefly when she was 18 to live in LA- worked for American Airlines helping with WWII planes but was glad to get back home. They own farms, run a little restaurant and with a smile served up life stories and great sandwiches. Yes there are lots of badgers in this area! The ride ended as fun as it started – we went off road briefly to avoid a 20 mile detour- got our bike shoes deep in river bottom mud but laughed, cussed a bit and felt like kids on a summer creek hunt. What a great day in Missouri! Hope the pics do it justice.