Well folks, we've arrived into Marshfield, Missouri today and managed to fight our way into a library to get internet access. This first involved asking directions from the only person foolish enough to brave the heat with us (who also was one of the many around this small town who feel the need to use their Second Amendment - the right to bear arms - frankly the place feels as dangerous as Cowbridge on a Saturday morning!). Second, we had to give photographic identification and a funny handshake to get onto a computer (needless to say, Luc hadn't any ID and so, for a change it is I, Robin typing!).
For the past few days it has been HOT and we have been melting but for the relief of air conditioning in motels for the last two nights. For any of you weather buffs out there, there has been a heat advisory weather warning with the funny/scary wording...
DANGEROUSLY HIGH HEAT INDEX VALUES BETWEEN 100 AND 105 DEGREES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
A HEAT ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN HIGH TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE IT FEEL LIKE IT IS 100 DEGREES OR GREATER FOR FOUR OR MORE CONSECUTIVE DAYS. PEOPLE IN THE ADVISORY AREA ARE ADVISED TO AVOID PROLONGED WORK IN THE SUN...(no mention of cycling though!) OR IN POORLY VENTILATED AREAS. ALSO...KEEP PLENTY OF LIQUIDS ON HAND (or bike) AND TRY TO STAY IN AN AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT. (joke!)
MANY PEOPLE AVOID USING AIR CONDITIONING BECAUSE OF THE COST. IN TIMES OF EXTREME HEAT AND HUMIDITY...THIS CAN BE A FATAL MISTAKE! (agree - hence the group discussed and agreed to use our group kitty to fund staying in a motel!).
Aside from the heat (which makes even sitting an effort), the area has become beautiful rolling countryside after some short but very sharp mountainous roads in the Ozarks. We have crossed countless rugged river canyons with crystal clear waters - the relief of jumping off and swimming in the cool rivers is amazing. We have experienced the awesome power of nature - no, not the fact that the oldest mountain range was once under the sea... no, the power of the skunk. Frankly this small mammal deserves respect - one campground we stayed in recently stank so much of the thing that you constantly walked around checking what you had stood in!
For a break from cycling we have been doing other things aside from swimming. First we climbed up a fire tower - picture a power pylon but with a small garden shed stuck on the top for some poor sole to sit in and presumably spot fires in. Well, we were able to climb up this precarious thing and see the mountainous hills from a totally different angle. Strangely, from several hundred feet up, the forest seems to go on forever and the horizon seemed completely flat. Another alternative was running - although in the heat this didn't really result in much!
Anyway our library is shutting and the computer is flashing. Expect an update soon. Fingers crossed for rain/coolness!