It was probably the easiest possible credit card tour practice run. The idea was to pack only what was needed to ride the Frisco Highline Trail from Springfield, Mo to Bolivar, MO, spend the night in a hotel, and ride back the next day. Buying food along the route, and sleeping in a hotel is certainly more expensive, but it offers the ability to travel light, and comfortable, restful accommodations. For my practice run, I didn't have too far to go, the route was easy to follow, provisions were easily obtained, and I was under no time pressure. I even had a arrangements for company during the evening meal. What could be easier?
The beginning of the trail in Springfield.
It begins paved and smooth. There were numerous locals out riding, running, or walking in the pleasant early morning.
Eye-catching decoration along the trail. This was at a bike storage place near Willard, MO, if I recall correctly.
We don't have this kind of "bicycle infrastructure" in Sanger, Texas.
The trail looks like this as it crosses through small towns along the way.
Art meets art. I had to wonder how many photos have been taken of someone's bicycle leaning against this wall.
After about 8 miles, the pavement ended and the more urban "exercise trail" feeling was transformed into more of a country path feeling. Works for me.
The trail is mostly surrounded by trees, but openings occur periodically offering views of the rolling countryside. Since I live on the prairie, I enjoyed the trees (and the shade they provide), but a change of view was refreshing from time to time.
This tiny guy could have fit in the bottom of my water bottle, but he seemed to have no fear. He stood his ground in the middle of the trail and glared at me while I stopped to take photos, and never retreated to his shell. Just gave me that eye until I pedaled away...cracked me up.
The look of this old time storefront caught my eye, but I was wishing it was on the other side of the street...in the shade.
Walnut Grove, Mo. An interesting small town diversion for provisions.
Large radius bends through the trees. The shade cover made a hot August excursion quite bearable.
Interesting structures along the way. The light coming through the siding caught my eye.
Bridge over the Little Sac River. I spent a little time here exploring the sights.
One side of the bridge...
...and the other.
Just another bike-leaning-against-bridge-rail photo.
By the time I was this far along, it was getting warm out. I was grateful for the shady spots along the way.
I find the stone bridge bents visually interesting. I guess its the texture.
Another one of those side views.
And a view from one of the bridges that doesn't cross a waterway.
As one approaches Bolivar, pavement returns to the trail.
I think I liked the composition of the tree, the reddish gate, and the small grove of trees in the background.
The Bolivar trailhead.
Once in Bolivar, I cruised around downtown, found a good Mexican food restaurant, cruised around town some more, found ice cream, and then rode to the hotel. I was able to check-in just barely before the outside temperature hit triple digits. Frequent friendly commenter to this blog, GravelDoc, met me at the hotel and drove me to dinner. Italian food and talking bicycles makes for a pleasant meal. After dinner, he gave me a thorough tour of Bolivar in the comfort of his air conditioned vehicle. I wish GravelDoc was my next door neighbor. He's that kind of guy.
I have done several S24Os that included enough gear to luxuriously camp and cook outdoors. The S24Os focus on enjoying the being at a place. Many more of those are anticipated, but I also have an interest in doing a multi-day credit card tour. The credit card tour provides a different experience that emphasizes pedaling and seeing more places. Now that I have successfully completed a credit card tour over-nighter (and thoroughly enjoyed it), it is time to plan a 3-day, 2-night loop from/to my front door. Perhaps this fall or winter...