Hot, dry, headwind, rumble strips on shoulder . . . . Blah . . . Blah . . . Blah.
Now that we have the ugly part of the day out of the way, let me tell you the good things that happened along the way!
1. Started out in the beautiful cool of the morning, actually got on the road about 6:30 and it was cool, the lighting was wonderful for photos and it was peaceful!
2. The first little "settlement" on the map was Bazine. No town to speak of but such a beautiful rest area with new bathroom facilities, air conditioned and cold water! How lovely is that??? These little stops are so appreciated!
3. 13 miles of a newly surfaced road and very little traffic!
4. Mike and Irika from the Netherlands. Hanging out in the shade of a deserted building, they were travelling the opposite direction, great couple and fun to chat with! We exchanged everything we knew about the trip ahead for both of us! We really should take notes! the best thing was they were able to advise us on the troublesome road ahead of us!
5. After struggling for our 20 miles with the aforementioned pitfalls in the first sentence, we saw a group of kids waiting for us on the corner of the highway we were about to make our turn! Oh my, what a way to lift your spirits! These kids were waving and cheering as if we had just completed some miraculous feat! They were on their first cross country adventure and were bubbling over with contagious enthusiasm and excitement you couldn't help but feel enthusiastic yourself! It was a wonderful moment that stayed with me all day!
6. The family of 5 traveling coast to coast! Mom on a bicycle built for 3, the little guy on the back maybe 6 years old, the one in the middle about 8! And dad with junior, about 12 on a tandem pulling a trailer! Now THAT takes a real effort! They guaranteed everyone was having a great time! There was a lot of Gatorade being consumed!
7. A drinking fountain with relatively cold water . . . Just as your last mouthfuls of bath temperature water from your bottles are being consumed, you find a water fountain and restroom just waiting for you! How does that happen???
8. The town of Larned! We had heard how nice the city park was to camp in and its true!! We had to check in at the Police department and we can camp right next to the pool, free! Free pool entry, which of course is the first thing we did! Gazebo, new restrooms, water, duck pond, picnic tables and power!!
9. Dennis the self appointed cyclist greeter! What a hoot! The bicycling family warned us about him, not to be put off or worried when he showed up! Nice guy, just checks to make sure everyone has what he needs, do they need a ride anywhere? Some people are just so very thoughtful! In return he got the conversation he was looking for I think! He did confess to liking to get out of the house for awhile, but his wife called 3 times!! You can't make stuff like this up! He had a lot of stories to share!!!
10 and finally, we cooked our own dinner at the campsite and it was just so nice and relaxing instead of worrying about how we were going to get back into town or when; especially since we tend to get hungry while the sun is still high in the sky and its hot! Loved "staying in" and cooking,and to make it even more special it was so tasty! A pile of fresh, raw veggies and a bowl of ravioli! Sitting under the park gazebo we enjoyed a nice breeze and another family celebrating a boy's birthday with the grandparents visiting from Israel! Of course we made it one big party as we all started talking together!
So we are right next to the duck pond, the sound of a water fountain to lull us to sleep (as if we needed help!). A breeze to hopefully cool us off this evening and we are ready to say good night!
When we started out this morning, I was thinking of taking a few days off my blog while we are working our way thru Kansas. This morning it just felt like it was going to be more day of the same! Hot, windy and nothing between Point A and Point B!! But look at all the fun stuff that came our way! there really are no ordinary days on a bicycle!
Tomorrow we do ride thru "no man's land" 58 miles of no towns or services! But the place we are headed for is Nickerson, KS where we will be contacting the Mayor's wife for accommodation! Its what you do! They have hosted over 1000 cyclists and word is passed from cyclist to cyclist! Can't wait!
It was great day after all! We forgot all about the nasty stuff! Xxxxooo