3 July 2011
Left Centralia at 6AM to try and get some hours on the road before the predicted heat wave.
Rode through some lovely backroads of rolling Missouri hills that reminded me of the
Waikato region of New Zealand. When I stopped at midday for lunch it was 80F. Lunch was at the Macks Creek Old Town Cafe with a lot of local cars outside so I figured it would be good. The cutest waitress served up smiles and over the course of the meal called me “hun”, “sweetie”, “darlin'” and she of course got a nice tip :-). When I got back on the road again it was 90F.
A couple of hours later I was riding through Big Bear Lodge, the lake community where the family of Duane, Charlotte's husband, was having a birthday party for Charlotte's 12 year old son Chase. I couldn't find their house, the temperature was at 100F and I was getting desperate for relief from the heat. I found a small patch of shade on a sloping gravel patch and decided to stop. With the sidestand down and digging in the gravel I went to dismount from the bike. I was moving too fast trying to escape the heat, my foot got caught in the handle of the gear bag that rides pillion and I fell onto my back in exactly the way I did a year ago when I broke my neck. Fortunately, this time I had a helmet on and it helped minimize the impact. Still, my neck was very sore and tender. I rang Charlotte and decided to ride to the marina where their boat is. The temperature was now way over body temperature at 102F, I was in mild shock from the fall and the heat and I got lost. I passed by Scoops, an ice cream parlor, and stopped to compose myself with a bit of Blue Bell ice cream. Called Charlotte, fortunately Duane was in the area and he stopped by and escorted me to the marina on Table Rock Lake.
I secured the bike, took some ibuprofen and we drove over to the birthday party in Charlotte's jeep. Had a great all American 4th of July meal, including the best venison steak I have ever had from Chase's first deer, prepared by his grandfather George. The heat was incredible throughout. After the party it was back to the marina and an evening motor around the lake. Had a miserable nights sleep due to the pain in my neck.
Americana for the day: heat stroke