Day 35 – Ellington to Farmington

Sat 10th July 2010

I should’ve been in the UK today to celebrate my wife’s birthday so home was certainly in my thoughts, which somehow makes the cycling that much more difficult.

For the first time in well over a week we had a clear sky to start off. It was nice to finally have some decent weather and we set off in good spirits with sun cream already applied.  Our good spirits were also helped because last night we eat at a local burger bar for a break from pasta and boy those chips tasted good.

As soon as we left this morning we expected to face yet another long steep hill similar to those we faced yesterday but to our surprise the gradient was more gradual and that continued for the rest of today making the cycling more of a pleasure. Our planned destination today was Bismark but yesterday we were told of a bike hostel in Farmington which is about 13 miles further on. So we decided to make for there to see what the hostel was like. We still had some miles in hand s0 even going on to Farmington left us with a short day and an early finish.

Farmington is quite a big place and we had no idea where the hostel, called Al’s Place (well named), was so we stopped to ask Guy and Craig (father & son) who were sat out having a yard sale. They didn’t know either but soon found out and gave us directions. They even offered for us to stay at theirs if we had no luck.

Guy & Craig

Guy & Craig who helped us find Al's Place

We soon found Al’s Place and it turns out that tonight we are staying in the local jail house. Well it was the jail until 1996 and has very recently been turned into a place for cyclists to stay. I called the local police who gave me the code for the door and we were very pleasantly surprised when we went in. It was nice and cool and has everything we need, including warm showers, a TV, kitchen and beds. There’s even secure storage for the bikes. There’s nobody here to welcome you, you just let yourself in and make yourself at home.

Al's Place - Cyclists Hostel

Old Jail

This was a jail for a long time.

Inside Al's Place

Inside Al's Place - Very nice but who's the vagrant on the sofa?

Farmington City Hall

Farmington City Hall

We are gradually reaching the end of the Ozarks now and tomorrow we will cross the Mississippi river and into Illinois. Looking forward to that.

Daily Mileage – 66.5 miles

Time in Saddle – 6 hrs 7 mins

Total Climbing – 3,688 ft


  1. Hey Guys,
    I am the guy that poured you guys that beer back at the Old Homestead Cabins in Rand, CO. First time checking out the blog. Glad to see y’all doing well.

  2. Alan – you must have felt right at home in the County Jailhouse ;)
    Chris – LOVING the tan-bands on your legs, very fetching!!! lol!

    Hope you had a good night, you are certainly finding some strange places to stay :)

    Les xxx

  3. Interesting place to stay, but looks very comfortable, which is what you want. Weather looks lovely, just like here, but we need some rain. Take care xxxx

  4. Hey there, i second lesleys comments about your tan lines dad! Looks like you’re going to need a bit of fake tan to even that up a bit!Ha
    great to see you got somewhere so comfortable to stay! Looks nice and suprisingly quite homely for an old jail! hope they let you out dad.

    Well done
    Love you

  5. Hi Both, really jealous you are about to see the Mississippi, it is a place I have always wanted to see, take a photo for me

    I agree with the comments about the tan lines, very impressive, take care

    Lots of love Lisa

  6. Yes you should have been with me!! Only 3 and a half weeks to go. We are really looking forward to our holiday – you probably just want to be at home!!

  7. Really enjoying catching up on your daily blogs – fabulous to see the hospitality you’re getting – I reckon it’s the Lycra that does it!
    Anyway one question – have you fallen out at all yet/had an argument and if so, what about?