I really appreciate it. It will take me a while to get around to thanking everyone personally when I get back but I will. Thanks.
This was a hard day of 133 miles with little climbing. Total climb today was 593 feet which means it was flat, flat, flat. Flat isn't necessarily good. Flat into the wind, which was the first 90 miles, is hard work. There is no coasting just constant pedaling. We passed 2,000 miles early in the day.
Because of the length of the day and the wind, I went back to my best practices. I rode the day drafting the Myers on their recumbent. Behind them is Charlie and then Donna. I ate Powerbars and Power Gels instead of the SAG food because of the higher density of energy and that I can eat at the rate of 25 carbs every half hour. I also forced my drinking so that I was consuming a bottle every hour on the road and a bottle every stop.
That powered me to lunch at mile 84. Lunch was a couple of hot dogs and chocolate pudding washed down with two cokes.
Along the way we crossed the Arkansas River which has locks. We also crossed the Mississippi River at Helena. I really wanted to get a picture of me at the midpoint of the river but the bridge was very narrow with no shoulder so I was cycling with the traffic. Needless to say I wasn't about to stop and take a picture. Someone would have run over me. The same traffic situation was at the "Welcome to Mississippi" sign. So no sign but we are now in Mississippi. Six states down and three to go.
We lost Donna at lunch. She wasn't feeling up to the pace and another fifty miles so she Sagged in. At the last rest stop, with 25 miles to go, I went to my new end-of-long-ride drink combo. One bottle I fill with ice and Gatorade. The other bottle I fill with ice and coke. I drink the coke over the next ten miles and it keeps me fully powered.
One last comment about Gatorade. Every rest stop has Gatorade but they don't necessarily have the same flavor. Throwing Gatorade away is bad form but the last Gatorade in the bottle is hot. So you either drink the hot Gatorade or mix in the new flavor getting a Gatorade suicide. The flavor doesn't matter to me on the road so I just keep the bottle full and chug it.
Summary: 2,111 miles and 62,938 feet of climbs.