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Day 16 – Pizza-box wisdom

(78 miles)

While Parry set off at 7, Matt, Pat and I didn’t get going until nearer to 8:30 and immediately stopped for some breakfast snacks. This faffing proved to be our undoing as the sun, which had been more than a bit shy for the last week, somewhat overcompensated and blazed down on us all day.

Meeting some more (East-to-West) TransAm-ersFriendly locals - invited us in for iced tea which would have been awesome but we were already running really late.

The low point, mentally and geographically, came when I missed a turning and, having spotted my mistake, decided we’d carry on and rejoin the route via another road. Immediately we plunged about 1000ft down into a valley and had to climb The Wall Of Death to get back up out of this valley and rejoin the route. I was raging! It was at this precise moment that Parry texted telling us he was sat at Macdonalds having lunch about 20 miles further on. Matt, on receiving the text, wisely decided not to tell me about it until we’d got back onto the route and I’d cooled off a bit!

I thought my bike was about to melt

Exhausted and wilting under the sun, we stopped for lunch at a pizza place recommended to us by a local.

I'm sorry - I just can't help taking pictures of everything I eat!

Couldn’t believe the message printed on the side of the pizza box:

The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you

Amazing – just at the right time, a bit of motivation comes from…a pizza box! Spurred on, we limped over hill after hill and rolled into the public park in Springfield at 6:30pm. Parry had been busy making friends with a group out for a birthday picnic and had saved us a load of their left-over food. We were able to gobble this down and set up our tents just before the storm came. Its at moments like these that I really feel like God must be watching over us!

Parry - still keepin' it old-schoolI promise he wasn't as bored as this photo suggests!

We sheltered under a pavilion while the thunderstorm passed. Just as we thought it had pretty much blown over, there was an almighty flash of lightning and a crack of thunder that was loud enough to make a grown man wimper. All the park lights went out and Pat’s phone was shaken off its perch on the wall. We reckon either our pavilion or the pavilion Parry had been running to had been hit. A while later a fire truck rolled up to check nothing was on fire etc. Grateful to all be safe and sound we crept back to our tents and attempted to sleep peacefully.

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