to Pomme de Terre State Park, MO

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 10/19/2004 - 00:00

I had hoped to avoid traffic by leaving early, but apparently there's a rush hour at Lake of the Ozarks. I noticed early on that my back tire felt spongy, but after stopping several times to examine and pump it I couldn't convince myself whether or not it was leaking.

As I was leaving town on a downhill slope, I saw that there was a shoulder on the road ahead, and I gratefully swerved onto it... at about 30 MPH. The right wheel of the trailer hit a bump, and the trailer balanced on its left wheel for about 20 feet while I tried to figure out what was happening and what I could do about it. I might have been able to get the trailer back on two wheels by swerving back left, but there were cars coming behind, so I continued right and the trailer went over. The cargo slipped its bungees and skidded upside down on the pavement for about 10 feet before I got stopped. The kayak bag containing the autoharp now has a couple holes in it which can be repaired when I have time. The tent bag also got some holes, but fortunately the tent itself is fine.

So I got everything back on the trailer and continued down the road. The tire still felt funny, so I put some more air in. Suddenly as I reached the top of a hill I realized the tire was completely flat! I didn't find a hole in the tube -- saved it for later -- but the tire had a gouge in the side, close to the rim, that would just leave a new tube vulnerable. So I replaced both tube and tire. This was the crummy BMX tire I bought in Peoria; I replaced it with a sturdy one I got in Fairfield.

As I was working on the tire, I tried to figure out how to revise my plans for the day... after all these delays it must be 2 or 2:30, and the sky was so overcast I couldn't tell time by the sun. I got my watch out so I could at least know how soon the sun would set... and it was only 12:30! I just started laughing... all this bad stuff had happened and the day wasn't even half over yet!

I stopped in a little town to drop off the bad tire at a tire shop, and I told the folks there that I was following the US highway for its shoulder. They told me that the shoulder would end in a few more miles, and sure enough it did, and riding the highway without a shoulder was miserable. So I ditched it for a county road to Nemo and had a much pleasanter time. Pomme de Terre State Park is just outside Nemo (and near Hermitage), blessedly far from the sound of traffic.

46.2 mi