Day 20: Climb the Fire Tower - Ellington to Summersville

The hills of Missouri are taking their tolls on our bodies and Gill's bicycle. Today features snapping turtles, a fire tower, the VFW feeding us too much, and broken chains.

Saved this snapping turtle on the side of the road.

Saved this snapping turtle on the side of the road.

A New Breakfast Strategy

Let's start out with a new way to try and manage the biggest problem of bike touring. This issue is the blood sugar spike in the morning, and the spike that happens when you get off the bike.

Under the normal circumstance, breakfast happens first thing in the morning. With a full stomach you then pack your bags, get dressed and ready. The points on your blood sugar steady increases throughout this process and is over 200 mg/dl before even pedaling.

The new strategy is to get everything packed and ready for the day before eating breakfast.

The new strategy is to get everything packed and ready for the day before eating breakfast.

The new strategy to prevent morning blood sugar spikes from breakfast

Get everything 95% ready. THEN, eat breakfast.

What's the difference? Now, I am cycling minutes after eating. Your muscles absorb glucose in tandem with insulin. This can prevent spikes and keep everything more stable.

A perfect strategy? No. But a step in the right direction

The Hills of Missouri

Ok, so yesterday I thought everyone over exaggerated how big the hills are in this state.

They are still taking the easy way out by complaining. The hills are punchy yet short. Adding the heat from the giant floating orb, the sun, can make these climbs too difficult - walking may have to happen.

Gill, part of the Wounded Warriors Project, passes me as I stop by a farm to fill up on water. His flat brim hat and America flag wavered as he stood up on the pedals to climb a hill.

POP.

The chain breaks.

Gill borrows my multi-tool and Mark's extra chain link to make it to the next town

Gill borrows my multi-tool and Mark's extra chain link to make it to the next town

Note for cyclists: make sure your multi-tool can insert the pin for a chain link.

Climb the Fire Tower

At 106 and junction D between Eminence and Summerville is a fire tower you can climb up.

The wind shakes the tower a bit as you circle up the spiraling staircase. You go round and round until this view.

Doug and Donna are even bolder and went into the ranger's house. I did not know it was open!

The view of the Ozarks from the top of the fire tower

The view of the Ozarks from the top of the fire tower

Finding a place to stay

There is a new list of places to reach out to when finding shelter - VFW. That stands for Veterans of Foreign Wars and Mark is a member.

We are welcomed with warm arms and the stories begin.

Having a conversation in the VFW hall

Having a conversation in the VFW hall

Taking advantage of the windowless hall

There is air conditioned hall without any sunlight. What does that mean to cyclists? Bed time is at 8 PM and we wake up at 4 a.m. This is continuining our good series of getting a quick start on the day. 

The Blood Sugar

There is still a lot of work to eliminate all the hills and valleys of my blood sugar.

Overnight: A huge dinner causes an overnight high
Morning: trying to even out the morning breakfast by eating only after preparing everything for the day
Afternoon: stopped in town and ate pancakes and eggs. Pancakes may be eliminated from the diet.
Dinner: the VFW fed us fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, fruit, sugar-free jello, and so much goodness.