"Walkers!" my head screams upon sighting a threat on the horizon with much the same angst a ship lookout spots pirates or icebergs. I'm talking of course about hills which I've taken to nickname walkers when for one reason or another I'd rather get off the bike and push rather than spin the pedals. It's not just how bad the grade is though that is certainly the major consideration. It seems my legs (mind?) have a certain daily allotment of uphill credits. After these are spent even the sight of minor hills are met with mutinous groans within me. And today's ride had the most walkers I've seen so far; surpassing even the worst of Alabama.

But that didn't make today the worst day's ride of the voyage. That day still belongs somewhere in Alabama and I'd rather not recall it. The difference was that I had braced for worse than this and although it was bad - oh it was bad - it was still better than what my dark fantasies cooked up over the last couple of days. It didn't hurt either that I took yesterday off and spent most of it in bed watching movies. Speaking of yesterday, when I finally managed the resolve to get out of bed, sometime past noon and then only to find something to eat, the first foot outside of my motel room and I was greeted with a chilly bluster that made me instantly thankful I wasn't on the road for I would have been utterly miserable. Having road shoulders throughout Arkansas has taken a lot of the sting out of the sheer effort of pushing oneself forward. I've played this record before of course so no need to bore you again.

So that's it. I crossed a sizeable portion of this state in three days of riding and it has been mostly pleasant. As I write this I'm only a half mile from the Missouri state line and feel the midwest inching closer with its red carpet welcome of hundreds and hundreds of miles of FLAT terrain. Ask me how happy that light at the end of the tunnel makes me ;-)

Day 28