Day 28, 4/24: Fremont, MO to Poplar Bluff, MO (48.9 miles)
Day 28 was a relatively short day – we got a later start since we still had to clean up all the camping stuff from the past 2 days, so we ended up leaving around 9am. Getting out of the Ozarks, we faced some huge hills in the beginning, which were tough but short. Otherwise, we were mostly on the freeway for the rest of the day with lots of small rollers and some terrible headwind. We did enjoy the beautiful fields of yellow flowers everywhere in Missouri though!
We arrived at the Poplar Bluff First United Methodist Church early around 1-2pm, but couldn’t get in until the pastor was able to come by, so we just chilled in the parking lot and had a nice lunch lol. The church had an awesome common area, kitchen, and several rooms for us to sleep in. Poplar Bluff is pretty small so we didn’t think we would be able to get dinner donations, but then crew came back with tons of food from Fazoli’s, Steak & Shake, and a local BBQ restaurant – great job, crew!!
Day 29, 4/25: Poplar Bluff, MO to Cape Girardeau, MO (74.5 miles)
Day 29 into Cape Girardeau was one of our fastest days yet! It started off great with crew making a special hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. That day, we had amazing tailwinds of up to 20mph and everyone rode in one big group and actually looked like a cycling team lol. So, even though the day was 75 miles long, it only took about 3 hours of riding total to get to Cape Girardeau. One of our portion riders, Ian, also sent us a care package of special Clif bars with 20g protein each. Just before we got to our destination in Cape Girardeau, we finally reached the Mississippi River, which was super exciting!
Crew arrived at First Presbyterian Church around 1pm to find a Channel 12 news reporter waiting for us – turns out she had heard about us from the church and wanted to interview us and film riders coming in! They got all ready to film people riding by the church when they saw that everyone was only a few blocks away on Life360 (our tracking app) but when no one showed up for a good 5 minutes, they put the cameras down – apparently everyone had stopped by the river and bridge to take pictures haha. Eventually we did ride in, which they caught on camera, and gave a short interview about who we were and what we’re doing. See our interview here!
After the interview and showers at Missouri Southeastern’s Aquatic Center (we have to get creative for showers sometimes), we had a late lunch and then walked around and explored the town. Cape Girardeau was really cool and had some lovely main streets and waterfront boardwalks (you could see Illinois across the river!). A group of us grabbed happy hour at The Bar, and then for dinner, crew got a ton of donations from Bella Italia, Dexter’s BBQ, Texas Roadhouse, and My Daddy’s Cheesecake (yes that’s what it’s really called). Some people checked out bars at night as well. Definitely a fun and relaxing day!