Since Kentucy I have been traveling with 5 other cyclists. A couple from New York, a set of twins from Phoenix and a guy from Tennessee. We all went our own pace during the day and would meet at a decided location in the evening. It was nice knowing there was going to be someone to spend the night with after a long hot day. On the advice of the New Yorkers we all took a detour up to St Louis, I was happy to get to cross the Mississippi at the Gateway to the West.
From St Louis we took the Katy trail (an old rail line) west, avoiding the Ozarks. It was a change not dealing with traffic but it got pretty monotonous and at times I felt a little gerbil trapped in a wheel. It was a small price to pay for the great people I met along the way. Jefferson City and Columbia were particularly good experiences, and two places I found it hard to leave.
I'm a little ahead of schedule and I sometimes fear that I might be missing out on some places.