|Early morning in the Ozark Mountains|
Today is part cycling and part rest day. I could see from the profile on my map that the road to Eminence was hilly and would be hard and that the road beyond was no better. I decided last night to make it my destination for today. The 44 km took me three and a half hours. There was no doubt about the hilliness of the route. One short steep hill succeeded another. There were some screaming descents, notably to the Current River and after the junction with Route V. The long climb out of the Current River valley was one of the few uphills with a moderate gradient. The ride was hard work.
|Current River, Ozark National Scenic Riverways|
In Eminence, I am lodged at the central Maple Tree Inn B&B, which offers a cyclist bunkhouse as well as regular rooms. I was welcomed there by Jody. Eminence is a small place (pop. 600) but as the centre of a tourist area has many lodgings and restaurants. It is a better place to stay than Summersville, the next town.
|Maple Tree Inn, Eminence|
As the day wore on, it became very hot (32C) and humid. In the afternoon, the ACA group arrived. They stayed last night off-route in Lesterville and had a longer ride today. Given the heat and the hills, I was glad I finished early. I did not envy them being still on the road several hours after me. They are camping a little way beyond the town and I believe they will be there two nights, enjoying a rest day tomorrow. (See their blogs here and here.)