Day 43 (70 miles) Houston to Ellington, MO
Today we entered the Ozark Mountains. Although the Ozarks may not reach 14,000 ft, or climb for miles and miles before descending, they are by no means a walk in the park. Unlike the Rockies or the Sierras where the road would climb up and up until you reached the top of a pass, these midwestern mountains go up 1000 ft, then down, then back up another mountain, then back down. All day you are alternating between 2 mph and 35 mph, and you are having to shift gears constantly. The other difference between the Ozarks and the Sierras is that instead of winding up to a pass, the roads here just go straight up and over, meaning some extremely steep grades (at one point the grade was 22.6%).
Although the Ozarks are quite difficult, the forested peaks are a new landscape to me. It is always enjoyable for me to explore a new wilderness, and this is no exception. And when you do find that rare break in the trees on top of a mountain ridge, the view is quite spectacular.
Check out the video below to see what the ride was like today.