Kansas, Day 3: See yesterday's post for a description of my day...
Just kidding; I'll elaborate a bit, although Kansas definitely did not look any different today! 84 hot miles of flat farmland began a bit before 9. George left Dodge City about an hour before the rest of us. The plan today was to go as far as possible to make tomorrow's ride into Newton as short as we could. It was warm this morning and I knew it would be a hot one today. I noticed more humidity as well; my clothes were sticky against me and I started to sweat right off the bat.
The wind was at our backs for most of the morning and we had 40 miles done by lunchtime, which felt great! We stopped at a pizza place in Kinsley and realized that we had crossed our halfway point! 1900 miles is a rough halfway estimate and Kinsley hit that mark perfectly. I started to feel the heat on the next 25-mile stretch and was starting to fall behind the guys when I saw three bikes parked along the wall of a restaurant that sat in the middle of nowhere. I rode up just as Seth was walking out the door, holding a bottle of ice water! It was delicious and I did my best to sip and savor it.
We did 7 more miles to a small town that thankfully had a gas station, where we took another break and refilled water. Just out of town George had a flat tire, so we stopped and Seth and Josh helped him change it. Kansas has been rough on our bikes!
Seth had a crazy amount of energy today and sped off toward town with 17 miles to go. I struggled with those last 17 miles...my hands were aching constantly today and I couldn't think about anything else! I was counting down the miles as Josh passed me. George was behind me when I saw a rest area sign. The last rest area did not have a water fountain so I tried not to get my hopes up, but I pulled in and was pleasantly surprised to walk into air conditioning! There was a semi-cold water fountain and I drank my fill. I limped into town 6 miles later to find Josh and Seth at the convenience store. We got a text from George that he was calling it quits for the day at the rest area.
If you followed my AT blog, you will know that Josh and Seth are persuasive masters when it comes to lodging. Well, we got permission from a deputy sheriff we saw at the gas station to camp in the town park for the night. The plan was to hang out at the gas station until dark and then ride to the park and set up....until one of the clerks mentioned "motel". The guys were fixated on convincing me to agree to the motel room and Seth actually walked next door and yogi-ed a good price. Sigh...just like old times. :)
We have 71 more miles to Newton and we are all craving a day of rest!