• Mariela Perez-Cabarcas

Day 36: French Connection

Wednesday July 6, 2022. 71.7 miles.

Springfield, MO -> Carthage, MO

Howdy all, Mariela here with a long overdue post of our second to last day in Missouri.

Post century ride, we were off to a later start than usual. Our bodies were really starting to feel the effects of biking for hours and hours a day, so our host (and seasoned touring cyclist) recommended some good stretches to get us loose and limber before our ride.

After consuming a mountain of pancakes and snapping a pic with our hosts, we headed out of Springfield towards Carthage on the South Creek Greenway, which features 8 miles of coveted bike trail that made for a very smooth and shady start to our ride.

As we approached our lunch spot for the day, events took a less smooth turn. First, one of our tires got a pesky flat, and of course, we forgot our portable tire pump in the car, so Robert had to come to the rescue. Less than a mile after we fixed the tire, we ran into an even peskier road closed sign. Normally, we would try to cycle right through these (while not passable by car, they are typically doable on a bike), but unfortunately, the road that connected where we were to the other side of the interstate was completely missing and we unfortunately hadn't trained for any stunt jumping recently.

As we stood at the road closure, contemplating whether to take the interstate detour or to just shuttle the remaining 5 miles to our lunch spot, a kind man in his car stopped and told us he knew a detour that would only add a few miles to our route. He also kindly went out of his way to escort us there, saving us from having to call Robert once again to shuttle us one by one or ride on the interstate. Our hero of the day.

We finally made it to lunch where we devoured our Hawaiian roll rotisserie chicken sandwiches and put on a feast for the ants that joined us under the gazebo.

The rest of the ride to Carthage was mostly uneventful, except, of course, this very cute bug that stopped on Franklin's shirt during a water break.

Upon arriving in Carthage, we took the scenic route that our host, Travis, recommended that featured the site of the Battle of Carthage, a beautiful courthouse, and streets lined with stunning historical houses.

Upon arriving at Travis and Abi's house we were greeted with two of our favorite things: applause and watermelon.

At dinner, we had some hilarious conversations, because we are hilarious people. Here is one of the highlights.

Mary, Abi's mother/Travis' mother-in-law, is quite the woman. And she told us quite the story. Imagine this, she's walking down the San Antonio Riverwalk. Her husband is at some meeting. She's bored. Anyone would be.

So, Mary does what any reasonable person would, and pretends to be French. "Oh, Mary must speak French," you may be thinking. She does not. But, Mary does speak one sentence of French. That sentence is "Quelle heure est-il?" Or "what time is it?" for us non-French speaking folk.

Mary is having herself a time and a half walking in and out of shops and asking the patrons "Quelle heure est-il?" She says the shoppers have one of two responses. Either they answer her very s l o w l y or very LOUDLY. Except for one couple. This couple could do the one thing Mary was counting on no one doing—speaking French.

So again, Mary does what any reasonable person would do. When the couple answers her excitedly in French, Mary pretends she has somewhere very important to be, and she runs in the opposite direction. That is of course until she has to go back to her hotel. Can you guess who she bumps into on the way back? You can. It was the French-speaking couple.

As Travis joked, Mary lowered her beret and snuck back into the hotel. Let this be a lesson folks, always keep a change of clothes on you when pretending to be French.

The night ended as it usually does, with Maxwell doing a show and tell of his 3D printed parts from his workshop for our hosts.

Here's a cute picture of Sophia caught mid-bite just for fun.

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