Day 46: Thursday, August 6, 1981
Pittsville to Cole Camp: 68 miles
The day started on an ominous note: the radio reported a severe thunderstorm headed our way. After we finished the breakfast of bacon and eggs that Bob cooked for us, we went outside to watch the sky. I never saw clouds come through so fast or so low as they did then. The heavy rain didn't develop, though, and we set out during a lull in the sprinkles, which continued, on and off, most of the day. We made it to Chilhowee in time to sit out a thunderstorm that had been chasing us, and had a nice chat with the owner of the grocery store. After a late lunch at Windsor, we covered another 20 miles before stopping at Cole Camp, which is about 15 miles south of Sedalia.
Cole Camp had a nice little town park under its water tower. Jack fixed us pork steak stew, which turned out very well.
The ups and downs continued today. Missouri has a lot more trees than Kansas did. It's harder here to see the approaching weather, as we could in Wyoming and Kansas.
The Rock Island Railroad runs through the small towns on our route. It apparently ceased operations last year, due to financial difficulties, and the rails are rusty and the brush is starting to encroach on the right of way. A small maintenance shed in Windsor had a beautiful set of hand-operated semaphore signals standing beside the track. The blades were wooden, and still intact. They must have been 50 years old. At a bend in the road known as Denton, about four miles east of Chilhowee, sits a small railroad station, now abandoned. The only tracks, now also in disuse, pass a hundred feet away.