We had "zero day" on our minds this morning, but it was still so hard to get out of bed! I had an alarm set for 5:30 but snoozed until 6:30. We had a quick breakfast at the gas station and George passed us, on the road much earlier than us! We had 71 miles to go today, the first 40 without any services. It was smooth riding through the hot sunny morning and we took a break after 25 miles. I had pointed out to Seth that his rear tire was wobbly, but it wasn't too bad so we didn't think much of it. When we stopped, he found a broken spoke! It was on the cassette side (of course) but he was able to tighten the opposite spokes to straighten it out some. Still wobbly but rideable.
We arrived in Hutchinson at 11 and it felt great to have 40 miles done! We stopped at McDonald's for lunch and Seth's mom, Mary (who came to Kansas to visit) came to say hello. She had already seen George and was slack packing him (carrying his gear to town). Josh dumped his packs off in the car as well, but Seth and I (being the purists that we are) opted to carry our gear. :)
We did 30 more miles through the again 100-degree heat, the last 10 being particularly tough for me. The heat drained my energy and my weary legs were tired of the crosswind. I made it to the edge of town behind Josh and Seth, and Seth had a cold water and a Snickers waiting for me. It was exactly what I needed! We headed to the post office for Josh to pick up a package, and then rode the block down to the Newton Bike Shop. The shop has a hostel where we are staying tonight. It reminds me so much of the Appalachian Trail!...there is a bunk room, small kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area. They gave us each a key to the shop and a cup for free beer from the keg they have in the shop! We walked to the rec center across the street to shower, stopping in the gym to shoot some hoops, and then to a Mexican restaurant for our halfway celebration dinner. Now we are hanging out in the bunk room watching TV and relaxing. George and Mary are staying at a hotel and George just called to tell us that he saw on the weather channel that there was a tornado this evening in Hutchinson! Glad we are not staying there tonight!
I cannot describe the feeling of knowing we don't have to get up and ride tomorrow! I need a mental and physical break after these long, hot, monotonous Kansas days!