It is actually July 17th, 2 days later than the actual day I am writing about! I spent hours writing last night and forgot to save it all as I typed, (I was multi tasking and glued to The Bachelorette!) and when
I did try to save it the internet connection had been lost at the hotel and I lost everything! Grrrrrr . . . Oh well,there must have been a reason for it!
So let me describe what I can remember! Especially the good bits!
We started the day early in Eureka with a buffet breakfast before getting on the road! It was really good, we got our fried eggs that we love and a bunch of extra fun stuff like French toast to stock up on extra calories! We asked our sweet little waitress if it was possible to make us a sandwich to take along for our lunch and she quite happily supplied one for us all wrapped up and ready to go!
The road was as we expected hot and long. We were prepared for it and lucky for us we were! Our Adventure Cycling maps indicated there were a few locations along the road that should have had at least water and maybe a gas station for a snack/. But there was nothing like so many of the days before us! No sign of life anywhere! But then it is 100 degrees outside, no normal person would be hanging around outside just for fun! But the businesses indicated on the map were not even in existence! Water was precious! At lunch time we held out that our last hope would be a small town of Benedict, we thought maybe there would be a bench in the shade at least to stop for a bite of lunch, but . . . We couldn't even find the town or settlement, or anything! There was a sign that would have been visible if we were coming from the other direction, it pointed down a very small overgrown road 1 mile. It wasn't worth the extra distance to find shade and we just carried on. The sides of the roads were virtually treeless and shadeless. If there were trees and shade they were behind a fence and useless to us! We did come up to a little road that had the perfect spot with shade so we stopped for a quick bite! Unfortunately when you stop, even briefly the heat consumes you as then there is no cooling breeeze whatsoever! Tough choice! But you have to eat! The sandwich our sweet little waitress prepared for us was a huge hunk of ham with cheese, it was delicious! The sun and heat come in handy as it warms the sandwich for us and makes it very tasty!
The last 20 miles can be the hardest and today was no exception! (The exception was the last 20 miles before Eureka when we flew downhill!) Today it was just hot and long as we rationed out our quickly diminishing hot water in our drink bottles!
Chanute City Limit sign was finally visible and not a minute too soon! Instead of heading for our Warmshowers's host we made a B-line for the closest Mc Donald's where Mike had a favorite Icee drink and we filled up on ice water! What interesting conversations you can witness in a McDonalds!!
Thanks to the wonderful organization of Warmshowers, we had a host waiting for us in Chanute. Rick greeted us at the door with a warm smile, a handshake and had ice water waiting for us! As he opened the door I found myself nose to nose with his Giant Schnauzer Emmett! I immediately fell in love with that dog! Not to be out done or ignored Sterling the miniature Schnauzer made his presence known as well! Now these dogs are the kind of dogs i don't mind chasing me because all they want is love and ear scratches and not a bite of my leg! I got my dog fix as we all quickly made friends! Rick showed us to our amazing room and private bathroom and made sure we had all that we needed to be comfortable and welcome! He had dinner all prepared for us, so of course I offered to get the wine! What a great evening and great host! Rick is a retired art teacher, his home is full of only Kansas artist's work, there is nothing he doesn't know about Chanute and what its all about! We had a wonderful dinner conversation, time passed so quickly and we ended with a quick tour about town and frozen yogurt! Absolutely wonderful!
Next morning, we got up to coffee, juice, bagels and melon all laid out and waiting for us! Hard to leave such a welcoming place but leave we must! We had already decided we needed a day of rest and knew that Rick preferred to remain loyal to his "one night only" policy so we made arrangements to move into a motel for the evening.
We said our good-byes and rolled off into town. Thought it would be a good idea to go into town and see what there was to see before heading to our motel which as always was on the outskirts of town. Not much happening at 9:00am on a Monday morning in Chanute! At least it didn't appear to be! We stopped at the City Pavillion, a lovely large canopy that looked like it would give us the protection we were going to need as soon as these black clouds behind us caught up with us! We made ourselves comfortable under the whirling ceiling fans overhead, just what we needed to keep the air moving! The humidity level was 96%! Now that's humid! While we waited, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to follow thru with our plan to, for the 5th time, reduce the amount of supplies we are carrying around! One more sort thru with a fine tooth comb and we had another 5 pounds to mail home! Amazing! The weather is just so hot and will remain hot for probably the next 3 months as we head south so we just don't see the need for some of the heavy warmer clothing we have. If we get cold, we can buy something!
With the rain finished, the package mailed there was only one thing left to do.. . Eat! We tried to be polite at Rick's and not eat too much! You know what its like when things are just so comfortable the coffee and bagels taste better when you are happy and it would be so easy to sit and continue eating and drinking coffee all morning! At least that's my excuse! But we were good, said thank you very much and declined any extra! And now, 2 fried eggs seemed like a fairly good idea!
A very kind gentleman had stopped to chat, another retired art teacher and he offered to open up the art museum just for us! It was closed today as was the other museaum I really wanted to visit, the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari museaum. They were extraordinary advernturers and photographers, especially for their time frame of the 1920's! but it was closed as well. Our kind gentleman also offered to give us a ride anywhere if we needed it! How sweet are people?? He suggested we go for breakfast at the Grain Bin around the corner and that is exactly what we did! And that is where everyone else in town was as well! A very busy place!
As we were leaving Tom the local "bicycle groupie" and Pastor welcomed us and we had quite a long chat! He wanted to buy us breakfast, but we just ate! He wanted to pay for our hotel, but we already had that taken care of too! Well, what can I do to help you out then he asked! We are pretty self sufficient but told him how generous his offer was! I made sure everyone we came in contact with that morning, and there were many!; knew that my personal "best" list gave Kansas the number one position because of the kindness of the people! They didn't have to offer anything more than a friendly smile or a wave of the hand as they shouted travel safe! We had so many people chatting with us, we didn't finish breakfast until 1:00pm! Time to get to the motel, get in the pool and cool off!
We did have a few errands to run and mike took the term "rest day" to the max and had a nice long nap. I floated in the pool, reorganized my new lighter load a little bit, caught up with family and watched a bit of daytime tv! We had walked to Walmart for a few supplies and because there was not place close for dinner, we treated ourselves to some prettty yummy things we could warm in the microwave enhanced by some fresh veggies and fresh fruit! It was delicious! And we didn't have to break a sweat to accomplish it!
It was a restful day.
Hope that fills in the missing gaps! Thanks for checking back!!