Day 29: Yes! Yes! Yes! to Strawberry Pie.: Everton, MO to Pittsburg, KS
65 miles (105 km) – Total so far: 1,485 miles (2,390 km)
My housemates for the evening, John and Jerry, got started a little later than me, so I cruised out of town solo. The rolling hills are flattening out as I approach Kansas. One of the last river valleys in Missouri was the site of a former water mill. I spent a little bit of time exploring the beautiful creek bed.
As I hit the plains, the farms get bigger and so did the farm equipment, which will certainly delight my nephew Judah. Just past the farm equipment I met another Eastbound cyclist. Like all the Eastbounders so far, Jeff was desperately trying to hit the coast by a particular date. It makes sense since they are all out in the front of the pack. It will be interesting to see the more chill paced folks in the coming weeks. I expect our conversations will start to slow down my mileage, which is just fine.
The collective consciousness of touring cyclists knows that Cooky’s Cafe in Golden City, MO is a must stop. I was in a serious cycling groove, not wanting to stop but knew I’d regret skipping it. So, I hooked a right on two-one and Lewis and stopped in at the cafe. My first order went nowhere as I’d missed the breakfast cutoff, so I ordered a beef brisket sandwich and strawberry pie. It would have been a travesty of epic proportions to skip this place. The sandwich was good. But the pie was worthy of a reaction from When Harry Met Sally which fortunately, I had just seen the previous night. It was. The. Best. Pie. I. Have. Ever. Had. It might not look like much from the picture, but the flaky crust, fresh strawberries, and freshly whipped cream were out of this world.
Baking sun, 90 degree weather, headwinds, and high humidity didn’t bother me much today. Crazy as that sounds, I happily sang along to my music and churned through over 30 miles without my feet coming off the pedals once. Just sitting out here in my lawn chair, folks. Don’t mind me. My mile-eating-ride finally put Missouri behind me and Kansas under my wheels. I liked Missouri. Good state. Good people. Beautiful views.
Getting into Pittsburg I made a beeline to the bike shop to get a few things taken care of. The AC was blessedly cool. After the heat today, it was time to Lycra up. The shop owner at Tailwind cafe kind of annoyed me. He said since I was a tourer and just hanging around in town, I could just have a seat while he finished lunch. Later on a cop came in to talk through some business. They spent some time making fun of tourers. To his credit, the shop owner did help me out with my bike, and was friendly enough. But, I find it extremely poor form for a bike shop owner to belittle tourers who give him a lot of business. I wish I had skipped this place and waited for Pueblo.