Day 25, 4/20: Joplin, MO to Battlefield, MO (66 miles)
Originally we thought that Day 25 would continue our rain streak but luckily it turned out to be just overcast with no rain! We continued going along country roads past fields and pastures, with lots of rolling hills, including an awesome long downhill towards the end. There was also a bit of a tailwind, so we were going super fast – so fast in fact that one group went past the lunch stop completely by 5 miles (the stop was supposed to be at mile 44 by a park but we never saw the truck so we just kept going until the van finally found us past mile 50. It turns out that the truck crew was at a coffee shop across the street getting coffee donations lol). We finished off the day going through lovely creeks and parks in Battlefield and some steep rollers.
Since it was a relatively short day, we arrived at the Battlefield Firestation, where we were staying that night, around 1-2pm. They graciously let us stay in their conference room and gave us a tour of their awesome firestation and firetrucks. For dinner, crew got donations of Olive Garden salad/breadsticks and pizza from not one but two places. After dinner, we watched a hilarious documentary called “Mortified” on Netflix (about people reading their childhood diaries to theaters full of audience) and played Bang.
Day 26, 4/21: Battlefield, MO to Mountain Grove, MO (69.8 miles)
As we left the firestation in the morning, it started raining literally as soon as we rode out into the street, but the radar showed just a temporary shower so we actually waited it out in the firestation for 10 minutes. Afterward, it turned wonderfully sunny and we biked past beautiful lakes, mansions and ranch houses (with backyard golf courses), and lots of green fields and pretty trees (dogwood!). After all the rain for the past few days, the gorgeous spring flowers were certainly a sight for sore eyes. We passed through some cute towns and during one of our rest stops, a lady who owned the bakery across the street generously donated 2 pies to us!
After lunch, we faced some more rolling hills and rode on the side of the interstate for a bit, which actually had a nice safe shoulder but also had a surprising amount of cow poop lol. We rolled into Mountain Grove High School, where we were staying that night, close to 3pm – they had a beautiful gym and outdoor field. Some of us discovered that wifi only worked in one corner of the gym upstairs, so of course we all crowded into that area lol. For dinner, crew got more pizza donations and salad, although a small group actually went out to a steakhouse afterward for second dinner as people had been craving steak for quite some time haha.