The bike, tent and all gear was loaded on the trailer, ready for the ~400 mile drive to eastern Missouri. Leaving around 6AM, using a mostly direct route that avoided I-40, I arrived at the Lions' Fairgrounds in mid-afternoon. According to friends Gene and Dave that had attended a rally down in Tennessee the weekend before. we were both supposed to meet in Potosi at roughly the same time. I beat them but not by more than an hour or so.
There were 1 or 2 other rally attendees on the grounds before me, otherwise the area was very quiet. It was surprising to me that anyone was there since the rally didn't officially start until Friday afternoon. Friends had told me that many arrive early.
Noticing at one of my gas stops in western MO that the front tire on the TW was looking a bit soft, I checked right away in Potosi and sure enough, the front tire was completely flat. Lucky beyond belief, I happened to notice a small dot on the tire, the bike still strapped on the trailer; I didn't even have to bend down to see it. I grabbed my pliers and pulled out a thorn.
The Offending object......
Before very long, Dave and Gene rolled in from TN. We all got set up before the sun got too far behind the hill, then headed downtown to get something to eat.