I'm opening with Oscar the Grouch because i think i felt pretty grouchy for a few days there. But this street art is actually in a back alley in Fairfield, Iowa.
One more out of Iowa, this is part of a neat alien abduction mural that was on the side of a tattoo parlor in Ottumwa.
The roadside bar in Missouri. The decor is pretty standard for this sort of place, but i like it. Feels more colorful and fun to me than Irish-themed pubs, massive sports bars or hipster microbreweries, which are more the trend in the cities.
I didn't take many pictures of the roads in Missouri because i was too busy going up and down and up and down, so there wasn't time to pull my phone out of my pocket. And then, when i did, i discovered later that half my photos were all blurry because the humidity had steamed up the lens. But this is a good approximation of why i disliked cycling through the state. This is from the top of one of the tallest hills with one of the best views. You will notice, there is no view. All you can see is more fucking hills in the distance. And trees. Now imagine every other hill you climb has less of a view than this one, and is even darker, and more claustrophobic. It's the worst.
Yeah. Fucking rained on me too. This is another attempt to dry out my tent. For people who haven't camped before - modern tents come in three pieces. There is the groundsheet, which is just a square piece of fabric you put on the ground first. Then there is the thing you think of as a "tent", which is a fully-enclosed thing that you sleep inside. Then there is the fly, which is a sheer piece of fabric that you pin over the top to keep the rain off the actual tent. When it rains, the groundsheet might get a little wet at the corners, and also in the hollows if you didn't have a perfectly flat site on top of a hill. The fly gets wet on the outside, obviously, but even when it doesn't rain it also gets wet on the inside from condensation. So even if you wake up dry yourself, you still need about an hour of direct sunlight or very stiff wind to dry off your groundsheet and fly. Unfortunately in the woods you don't get much of either, so you end up wiping off the condensation with a bandana and packing it all away damp. It's depressing.
Grain silos in Jamesport. I think there used to be a train that ran through here, but there isn't any more. Now the town is a ye olde worlde Dutch country towne, but on Sunday morning nothing was open except for church.
Cycling out of Jamesport, i finally started to get a bit of a road that didn't suck. Still too many trees for my tastes, but at least it was a long downhill.
This is just one of the many creeks and rivers i crossed that looked exactly like this. Really muddy. Really boggy. Surrounded by trees. Muddy rivers are pretty standard outside of mountain areas, so it shouldn't be surprising, but i think it just frustrated me on top of all the other stuff. It felt like there was no escape from the dirt and the muck.
Finally, on the day before i cycled out of the state, i got one very small stretch of road that felt open and clear. I can't remember where this was exactly, but it was a rare part of the state where i didn't feel completely suffocated.
There is still half a day of Missouri photos to go, when i made a bee-line for the river and crossed into Kansas. But i haven't posted the entries about that yet, so i'll leave you hanging on that hopeful last photo. Did i find the flatness i was looking for? Stay tuned. I'll give you a spoiler of what i did find, though. No fucking internet. Posting again from an open wifi in a small town ahead of heading to a campsite where there will almost certainly (still) be no 4G.