Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cruising 66 in the Ozarks By Cindy Sheehan

Today, (May 22) is day 48 of Tour de Peace (42 left) and was probably the most beautiful day of our ride.

We have had pretty days, weather-wise, and gorgeous views, but today, as we rode between Springfield, MO and Lebanon, the two combined with gorgeous weather AND a breathtaking view.

Tour de Peace is in the Ozarks here in Missouri and we rode down Route 66 with lush and beautiful forest lining both sides of the “Mother Road.”

The forest we cycled through is dotted with rolling farms and surrounded by blue skies. Having a really good friend in Northwest Arkansas, I have spent a lot of time in the Ozarks, but I am always flying over at a couple of hundred of miles an hour, or zooming up and down the wavelike hills at about 65 mph. Of course, cycling slows one down and just today, while we were on two different short breaks, two gentlemen approached the Peace Van and we were able to talk to them about our mission. The first man said he wished he could quit his job and join us today and the second gave us $20!

I can hardly believe that we have already ridden over half way across the country and are now in our seventh. State: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and now, Missouri. Two days ago we rode in three states: Oklahoma (where the wind really does go whipping down the plains); Kansas (shortest distance on Route 66: 11 miles); and we will be here in Missouri for a few more days before heading north from St. Louis through Illinois to end our journey on 66 where it ends (for us) in Chicago on June 2nd. (On to WashedUp, DeCeit after that). 

We’ve cycled in pouring down rain, taken cover from golf ball sized hail, and recently fled from tornadoes. We’ve almost been blown away by high winds, sweated up many, many hills in 100-degree weather, and froze while camping.

I have suffered from belly pains and recently bruised my tailbone in a non-bike related mishap and I miss my grandkids and kids, but I can’t remember when I have had so much fun doing something that is so meaningful to me and the hundreds of other people that our Tour has been able to reach.

I highly recommend crossing this country by bicycle at least once in ones life and I am already contemplating my next trip.

I was talking to my youngest daughter and she asked me if cycling across the USA was helping me “like it” more. I have never hated the country of my birth, or most of its people.

What I do loathe about the US is the government and the Robber Class that puts temporary and obscene profit over human need and environmental sustainability.

I understand there are many scandals affecting the scoundrels in DC these days, and I have to say, what’s happening in Springfield where a community is coming together to grow healthy food and raise healthy children in a peaceful environment is more important than what the murdering schemers are up to.
That’s why I ride, but I have to say, it’s not quite the sacrifice that most of the rest of my life has been since Casey died. 

If you can, join us for all or part of the rest of the journey.

The route can be found here:

Tour de Peace in the Ozarks

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