Today began early. Very early. Like 6:15 early. But don’t worry, the temperature hadn’t abated from its balmy, sticky, raunchy, gouge your eyes out with bicycle spokes awfulness. 

Daisy state park was actually a very nice park and it’s a shame we couldn’t spend more time there. It certainly won for best view for any campsite so far.  

 Getting on the road by 7:30AM local time put us at Mt Ida Cafe about an hour later. This marked the first occasion for us to eat a meal that wasn’t fast food in 4 days. I can’t really count Waffle House as a departure from that category. We’re pretty sure it also got robbed while we were there and none of the staff even noticed. 

That said, southern biscuits are good. REALLY good. I mean I wouldn’t mind sleeping on a bed of these things with a blanket of delicious sausage gravy too… Let me continue with the rest of the day. 

Spending days on end in the car with anyone is difficult. Today was a day that tried our patience with one another. Certainly the 7 times I woke up last night and the fact we both slept poorly last night had something to do with it. 

Did I mention Missouri is weird? Here, see for yourself- 

 Thats a town in Missouri, and their roads aren’t named. They’re lettered. Isn’t that…PECULIAR?! That’s about the most entertaining bit of our entire drive in the square state, and the drive overall…minus the fact we got pulled over by an Arkansas State Trooper for speeding. Luckily he was more interested in our trip than giving us a ticket. He just wrote us a warning. WHEW!

Then came time for the barbecue at Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue. Now when I say this is good barbecue, I’m not kidding. Anthony Bourdain puts it on his list of 13 places to eat before you die. Now like any good barbecue establishment, they have your typical fare: pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and a myriad of sides. But we weren’t here for just any barbecue. Well, Geoff wasn’t that is. He was here for burnt ends; the charred and barky remnants from carving brisket. They are saved and chopped up only to be served twice weekly because of their scarcity and the amount of brisket required to make just one portion. 

It was a near religious experience swirling the gelatinous and smoky gobs of smoked meat around inside ones mouth. Never before had we truly been able to say that barbecue melted in our mouths. Don’t forget those sides! Geoff places a pretty high standard on cole slaw and the two styles served here, normal and spicy, passed muster easily along with creamy potatoe salad and barbecue beans. 

This evening, we have the luxury to write from the comfort of our cousins’ (on Nicky’s side) wonderful home on Fort Levenworth in Kansas.  Another shower and the knowledge we will get a comfortable bed and climate controlled room have us thinking of turning in early. A big day awaits tomorrow (or today as you read this) where we hit the road early and make our way to the Badlands. Wish us luck!