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I wanted to attend a Weight Watchers meeting while in Springfield. Since all meetings were canceled for the Memorial Day holiday I stayed over another day. The Motel 6 next to I-65 was very comfortable and affordable at $42 which made staying easy. On Tuesday I rode over to the Weight Watchers office on busy Campbell Ave for a noon meeting. I stepped on the scale and I was down 3 lbs with a 19 lb total loss for the trip. Nice! My last meeting was 3 weeks ago so that gives me a pound per week loss which I'm happy with.The meeting was well attended and I was asked to speak about my trip. This group had a lot of good questions about how to plan and eat while traveling. I really enjoy these meetings and wish I could get to more of them.

The last 3 days have been hot, humid and windy. Today started out with darker skies and light rain. There weren't any weather warnings so I headed out riding through Springfield. My motel was on the east side and I had to ride 8 miles to get through town. At about 7 miles I stopped for coffee. This morning I found a Starbucks coupon for a free drink and decided to use it. By the time I was ready to continue the clouds had been replaced by clear skies. It was also getting hot and humid but a good breeze kept me cool. Hwy 60 is on the Trail of Tears route that the Cherokee were forced to walk into Oklahoma. I rode through Battlefield, Republic, Billings and Marionville. Every few miles there was a rode side rest area and I stopped at one for lunch. These rest areas have picnic tables and grills under large shade trees.

I hadn't decided where I was going to stop for the day. There were a few options. The first was Aurora. I could also continue into Monett or go on to Cassville. After taking a few days off I thought I would be ready for a bigger mileage day. The temperature got up to 85 with high humidity and I was ready to stop when I arrived in Aurora. I used the GPS to find accommodation. The first motel looked to have mostly permanent residents. It seemed sketchy and I didn't even stop continuing on to the Aurora Inn. This looked more like it and I got checked in for $48. The advantage of arriving early was I could watch quarterfinal matches from the French Open. That was fun. The men have the top four players in the world lined up for exciting semis. The women's, as usual, have a more quirky lineup. I love tennis and will be watching as much as I can.

It felt good to be back on the road. I'm still unclear about my route but the 'Trail of Tears' is calling me. I want to see where it takes me. Tomorrow I'll turn south towards Arkansas and the land of Walmart.

Springfield to Aurora, MO

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Leaving Springfield.

Springfield historical marker.

Roadside rest area stop for lunch.

Marionville.

On the 'Trail of Tears'.

Resting cows.

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