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Easley to Bluffton: Pain, poop and connecting with an old friend

Easley to Bluffton: Pain, poop and connecting with an old friend


We packed up and headed out early today; it is our longest day on the trail this week and our destination is the Bluffton Barn B&B that is owned by our wonderful old friend, Doug Rendleman. We want to get there early enough to spend some good catchup time with him tonight. We haven’t seen Doug in over seven years. Way too many years.

Early morning mist rising up from the Missouri River

We wolfed down a couple of protein bars since there was no time or place for breakfast. Without my coffee I’m not the happiest camper on a good day but biking all morning sans java is really difficult. And I was battling another malady today as well.

I love the beautiful purple clover fields! If I was a farmer, I would want to grow clover.

Craig and I eat really really healthy… all organic, no dairy, no processed foods, very little meat, fruit veggie smoothies and salads daily. That’s all fine and good and I’m hoping it is maximizing our health and life length and quality.

However when we travel and can’t adhere to the diet our systems kinda’ freak out. In my case, my digestive system was in the midst of an all out revolt. Normally my body (ahem) “functions” are clockwork regular and nice and easy. Not so now. Folks, I hadn’t been able to do a doo since Friday! So by my fifth day of fillups with no deposits, I was feeling pretty poopy… yes literally.

The entire morning was agonizing. I felt weak and dizzy and all the normal long-distance bicycling pains were amplified. My poor bruised derriere was smarting, my aching back and shoulders were screaming, and my tortured hands and arms were throbbing. My pace dwindled down to around 8mph. I was really hurting. Craig was so sweet and supportive. I know he felt terrible for me but there was nothing he could do.

I finally had to confess the unmentionable… I was beginning to doubt if I could finish our mileage that day. I didn’t want to quit!! I had never even considered that perhaps my 50 year old body couldn’t complete this adventure. Sure, a number of things could have cut our journey short… tornadoes, stolen bikes, serious injuries… but not just me not being able to finish!!!! I shed a few tears as I told him. Craig consoled me and assured me it was no problem. We could stop any time and call Doug to see if he could come get us.

One of the many metal train bridges on the trail

But I wasn’t ready to give up so I kept pushing the pedals through the pain for many more miles. Finally blessed finally in the early afternoon the pain began to abate. I think the Aleve that I took every morning on this trip (Aleve becomes your very good friend when you pass 45) began to kick in over five hours after I took it. I guess it takes longer to start working when you’re full of you know what.

So anyway I was able to pick up my speed and finish out the day!! I was so happy!! I felt good enough around 2pm to have a burger, tots and an Angry Orchard at the Mokane Bar & Grill. Craig got a double burger and it was simply monstrous and delicious too. I just love these little rural dining establishments.

Monster double burger at Mokane Bar & Grill

The pain never completely disappeared but the afternoon was much better. We arrived at Doug’s place around 5pm and had a wonderful visit with our good good friend. A lot has happened to all of us since we last spoke seven years ago. It was so good to see him again. He used to live in this cool historic home that he used for his B&B. A couple of years ago a truck ran off highway 94 and slammed into his house so hard that it shoved the house off its foundation. He fought his insurance company for a year but nothing much came of it unfortunately. Since then he has renovated his barn and turned it into the Bluffton Barn B&B. He’s done a great job; it’s adorable!

Our good friend, Doug Rendleman, owner of Bluffton Barn B&B

So when we got there I asked him the embarrassing question. Did he have anything to help me with my dilemma???? YES indeed he completely understood my pain and directed me to a large bottle of Metamucil on top of the microwave. I wasted no time scooping it into a glass of water. When that was gone I scooped some more into a big glass of cranberry juice. And then followed that with another water Metamucil chaser. I wasn’t playing around. I needed RELIEF!!!! To be continued…


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