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Got back on the road today! Nick and I set an alarm for 6:30 to try and beat the heat (jokes on us you can’t beat the heat in Kansas/Missouri). We got out of the room around 7:15 then had a good hotel breakfast until around 8 (pancakes, juice, cinnamon rolls, and more). We got rolling and headed through town south, then turned East to begin a long straight stretch of road. Our first destination was the Kansas/Missouri border and we reached it quickly. State number 7!

After that it was long straight roads for quite a while, leading to Golden City. Along the way the road started to get hilly, as I’d been promised it would as soon as we passed the border. It wasn’t too bad though and we made good progress towards Golden City. There were many windmills along the way, they made the farmland look futuristic as hell

The scenery in Missouri was so green and wooded, I loved it. Nick who’d hated Kansas was happy to see a change too

When we arrived in Golden City after 30 or so miles we went to Cooky’s Diner. It’s a restaurant that has been recommended by lots of people including the Adventure Cycling Association, and for good reason. The food was amazing. I got a deluxe grilled cheese and a bunch of fruit. Nick got an insanely tasty shrimp skewer. We drank iced teas and sodas and just enjoyed the food and AC. The waitress brought over a cyclist guest book to sign and we did; she was really friendly and welcoming. The main thing this diner is known for is the pie, so I got two big slices, apricot with ice cream on top and pumpkin. As expected they were both amazing. Nick got apple and his was even better. We sat around for a while just relaxing out of the heat and slowly headed out. As we left I shipped home some rain pants I didn’t need and extraneous battery packs. I also shipped my 2 used map segments. We rolled out of town and turned south into the Kansas wind, in Missouri. It was only a few miles and the wind wasn’t as brutal as it has been on previous days. We eventually turned back East and even got a bit of a tailwind. We needed it as it was really starting to warm up
The maps I’m using describe Missouri as a roller coaster ride that’s self propelled. This was where we really got into that part of the riding. We hit our first hill and it looked crazy steep, but once we got closer it wasn’t so bad and we made our way up it. We got a nice view to reward our efforts

We then climbed another short hill and got a view of the next valley, and our first descent. 

It was steep and fun and we both enjoyed it. Soon though we came to another steep hill and went up that. Then another descent, then another climb. Basically, it’s the state living up to it’s hill reputation. I actually didn’t mind it all that much because the climbing breaks up the monotony and the descents are fun, but in the mid day heat the repeated clbs really are difficult. We rode past a farm supply that had some drinks and enjoyed cold Gatorade. 
We continued the rollers, here’s Nick contemplating his next descent

Down this

The good news was that this road was nearly empty. I hope that keeps up. 
Nick pulled off and had to take a meeting with the charity he’s working with and I continued ahead. I joined a major road with a rumble stripped shoulder which meant I needed to ride in the traffic lane. Traffic was mostly respectful, but not as good as Kansas (I’m pretty convinced Kansas has the nicest drivers). I rode the 7 or so miles to Ash Grove and stopped at a convenience store for a cold drink. The clerk was friendly and let me hang out inside to have my drink. I tried to refill my bottles but the sink was too small. I headed to the city park (getting lost once) to refill there. As I rolled in a man flagged me down. He pointed to a nice old building and asked if I wanted AC. I said yes, but also said that I was meeting someone far ahead. He continued trying to sell me on the place, in a good natured way. Turns out he ran the swimming pool and would give us a free swim too! It was hard to turn that down but I had to decline. He seemed legit sad we didn’t stay there. I kind of was too. He refused my bottles for me though. I said goodbye and headed north out of town. I’d been warned that this section was nothing but hills (‘not a flat but of road for 8 miles’) and that was accurate

The hills were big and the sun was burning super hot. I was boiling as I climbed. Luckily it was a short distance and I got there without too much trouble. I pulled into Walnut Grove then turned north for a slight off route detour to the lodging for the night, 7Cs winery. As I left town yelled something at me from a car. I made it to the winery and it was a nice on top of a hill. There was shade, showers, wifi (but I couldn’t connect) and cold drinks for sale. I was pretty happy. Nick arrived just a few minutes later. We bought drinks to cool off and sat around chatting with the owner. He was a super nice guy and we talked quite a bit. He told me about his backpacking days in the past, about the winery, and the land he owned, and he made us popcorn! It was all interesting. We basically just relaxed for several hot hours in the shade. It was nice. He let us pitch our tents under his awning so no rain flys, luckily (they’re unusably hot in the heat). I’m writing this up to the sound of the bugs as the heat is dying off. I need to sleep though, so night!

Distance: 70ish


  • Pancakes
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Orange juice
  • Chocolate milk
  • Gatorade
  • Grilled cheese with bacon
  • Pie
  • Fruit
  • Iced tea
  • Candy bar
  • Cheese
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese curds
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