13 New Friends, The Orange County Connection

Our Realtor DaughterLori, in Orange, introduced us to Pat & Jane on e-mail and telephone. We rolled up to their door in the early afternoon. Jane was there to greet us, Pat was working out in his club’s swimming Pool. Jane instantly welcomed us with snacks. We sat on the deck overlooking their beautiful property eating and getting acquainted.

Pat came in and joined us. We mentioned that we need to find a bike shop. He insisted that we use their car while he showers. We found the place and bought inner tubes, gloves and upscale shorts for Cat. We learned that her seat is a little to wide for her rear. We decided to replace it when we get back home.

Back at Pat & Jane’s, we met neighbors for wine then expanded the plan to include dinner at Jack Stack’s Barbecue. The place was packed with an hour and a half wait. They opted for take out. We really enjoyed getting to know new friends along with Ribs, Yum!  

New Friends, Wine & Food

Ribs To Go

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12 Countryside & Construction

Damn, another flat tire! Just as we were starting out of the driveway I realized the rear tire (of course) was flat. As I turned back a family came out the door. The two boys were pretty interested. They asked where we came from. Cat told them our story then asked where they were from. Hastings Minnesota, wow that’s the city Cat’s dad was born and raised in. We chatted, they know Russ and Lisa, Cat’s cousins. Another small world encounter.

The good news, we’re only going about 30 miles, in to Overland Park, MO today. The ride is countryside and beautiful. The heat is down but the humidity is way up. There was a few miles of construction. The detour would have taken us Lord know where? So we rode inside the barriers then back down an ON RAMP just being completed. After a tough push through the mess we were on the road, again. We made a wine stop at WalMart and were in to our new friends place by 1:00 Pm. 

Old Barn & Hay

Wind Knocked out of it

In the Zone, Construction

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11 You say Nah-vay-da, We say Nevada

We entered Nahvayda (Neveda) in the hottest part of the afternoon. Lost for a time, we got a bite and cold drink then rolled through town. When we stopped to see the Courthouse a couple, Steve & Karen, pulled up. They’re cyclist. He’s training for a Tri-Athalon. They belong to, in fact started, a local bicycle club. They were really interested, offered help but needed to get to school and pick up their kids. What nice people, a nice little town even though they don’t know how to pronounce their own name.

Steve & Karen


Nevada Street Scene

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10 Effortless but Endless

The land is flat and the wind is with us. Cat says, “It feel almost effortless.” I look out toward the horizen and say, “Effortless but it also looks almost endless!” Then as we pass another of those “almost ready to pick” corn fields I broke out in song.

Effortless yet Endless

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09 Countryside and A Cajun

When you come cycling in Missouri we recommend you ride Highway 43 out of Joplin. Flat, fast and the kind of countryside you should expect here. We stopped for a cold drink at a place called Cajun’s Tire Service. The owner, Steve,  that locals call Cajun, is an interesting guy. We met his youngest son who he blames for the move from Florida to this rural area. Seems the street in front of their house was busy and most drivers just blew through the stop sign. After an almost violent confrontaton they headed Missouri. We talked about music, of course. I sent him a copy of our band playing “Guitar Lady”.

Old Time Combine


Heavy Traffic

Cajun Steve

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08 Onward, Ever Onward

July 1, 2010 and we’re rollin’ again. A sort of backtrack over to then down Main Street. We got out early so traffic wasn’t too bad. Main Street is so Middle America. Old brick buildings flags and flowers. Fireworks are legal and there sems to be a stand on every corner.

Joplin, Main Street USA

Black Cat & Cat

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07 Masharubu’s Cousin Jim & Aunt Gladdy

Cousin Jim is an Attorney, he and his wife Diane hosted a wonderful getting to know each other luncheon at Pandera, a great place. Then we dropped Diane off to take care of business and Jim took us to meet Aunt Gladdy. Yes Masharubu she is alive and well. And yes, she’s at least 100, actually she’s now 102!  Jim drove us to meet her in her Independent Living Apartment. Incredible, she’s an incredible woman. After we shut the camera off she said, “Tell Joel (Masharubu) that I love him!”

Cousin Jim & Diane

Aunt Gladdy



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06 Masharubu Re-Visited

Some of you who’ve been riding along with us since 2002 may remember Masharubu? We met him in Tanzania, Africa. He helped us and became a life long friend. He has stayed in touch via e-mail and when he saw that we were headed toward Joplin he sent a note suggesting we look up his Aunt and Cousin. He said, “If Aunt Gladdy is still living she must be 100 years old.”

This is just a remembrance of our time with Masharubu. (Masharubu is the Swahili word for Mustache.) Check these pictures and watch Masharubu Play the Blues. 


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05 The Fantastic Caverns

Several urged us to be sure to see “The Fantastic Caverns” on the way back to Joplin. I’ve seen Carlsbad Caverns and smaller caverns in Arizona. Cat hasn’t been inside one so it became a must. And, this one is unique in that it’s the only Cavern trip in the USA that you ride in a jeep.




 More than just a journey amongst the stalactites and stalagmites, we learned that it was discovered because the farmer’s dog ran in chasing a Rabbit. Also, that a group of women explored into the large cavern and name it the Room of the Giants. The farmer at one time grew mushrooms inside. Later, during prohibition it became a speakeasy, a bar and a music venue.

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04 The Ozarks and Branson

Maybe we spent too much time with G. W. Carver? Then too, those dang Ozarks Mountains are steep and the road is long and winding. Scenic, yes but mostly trees and hills. When we finally reached Branson it was too late to see any of the shows. We aren’t exactly “Go To Show” types. There are no BIG name shows during the summer. Cat wanted to see Andy Williams but he won’t show up until his Christmas Show. Our time in Branson became an overnight-er.


Andy's Moon River


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