Thursday, July 23, 2009

And on and on and on....

Wednesday July 22

Just when we think we’re making good progress and might actually get to DC before the time runs out, we have a couple of days like today to set us back. We had planned on riding to Dighton Kansas and could have accomplished this modest ride of just over 70 miles but we opted to take the alternative which ended up being a 45 mile ride, accompanied with some communtiy involvement.

We got off to our best start of the trip so far. On the road before 8:00. We couldn’t find a decent diner in Tribune for coffee, let alone breakfast, so we opted to ride 20 miles to the next community and try again. This didn’t work either so we bought some junk from a convenience store and ate it while watching Lewis play at the school playground. The 20 miles took just about 2 hours as a pretty good wind was blowing from the side today. Someone is having fun at our expense. It shouldn’t be this windy so often with out being advantageous once in a while. The terrain is ideal for biking however. An occasional rolling hill breaks up the montony of the extremely flat countryside but Donna and I are just itching for an opportunity to rip off an easy 80 to 100 mile ride with the assistance of a tail wind. Are we going to be denied this?

Once the junk had been devoured, we headed off for the town of Scott City Kansas. This place was sure to have a decent restaurant as nearly 4000 people called it their home. We pulled into town just a little after 1:30 and found a Subway franchise where 3 of the $5 footlongs were devoured. We relaxed in the air conditioned comfort of the sub shop and decided while dining that it was time we hit a library. The plan was to spend a while in the library to check our e-mail and see if the wind might switch a few degrees and help us finish the day. We were also hoping to let the hottest part of the day pass by. The temperatures were very near 90 today.

The library was an oasis. It was very nearly empty but was immaculate and almost new. There were nearly 50 e-mails waiting for me once I logged on so I was busy for some time. A new post was added to the blog while Donna and Lewis both worked on their journals. We ended up spending a couple of hours there and left just before they closed the doors at 6:00, While we were taking care of our business in the library we found out that Scott City was just starting their annual fair and that tonight was the beefiesta. This is a feeding frenzy where the entire community is welcome to come eat cow for free. We debated whether or not to continue on to our original destination of Dighton Kansas or just stick around Scott City. Scott City won out.

Someone else told us about the athletic club and how they take in cyclists so that was our first stop after leaviing the library. For $20 we get to use the showers and sleep on the floor in one of the lesser locker rooms. It’s not as bad as it sounds as the room is carpeted and has a television and the lockers are the ones that the girls gymanstics team uses. Lewis would be able to swim while Donna and I chose not to and saved another $10.

We unloaded our bikes at the club and then headed out to the fairgrounds to join the festivities. There certainly were a lot of people eating a lot of barbecued beef. We joined in and didn’t spend a penny. The rest of the fair was a major disappointment with one exception. We walked around and looked at the livestock barns. Without exception, every animal or breed on display is an animal that is usually raised for the sole purpose of being eaten by humans. There were no cats or dogs or horses or guinea pigs. Just cows, chickens, pigs, meat goats, and sheep. Perhaps the sheep had a chance for a longer existence but I’m skeptical. And the amusment rides were totally missing. We weren’t the only ones to miss them as we asked about them and the responders all said ‘they used to be over there in the past’. The one saving feature of this carnivore fair happened to be the mechanical bull. Lewis got up the nerve to give it a try. It’s not easy riding a mechanical bull with cycling shorts on!

With satisfaction on the face of Lewis we left the Scott County Free Fair and returned to the Athletic Club where Lewis enjoyed himself in the privacy of his own pool. Donna and I took turns showering in order to keep an eye on him. Now they are both sleeping on the floor while I finish this posting. We rode 46 miles today but could have handled the additional 25 miles without too much difficulty. The winds never varied today but that hasn’t stopped us yet. What is in store for tomorrow? I won’t even hazard a guess. Unless we get a good tailwind!

1 comment:

  1. Hey! It's Aaron and Lolo

    You guys seem to be making good progress to me. We ended up taking some days off at Jenny Lake in the Tetons, which made us incredibly lazy, and eventually we decided to end the trip in Jackson (which made us think of you guys). Now we are backpacking, riding, and generally enjoying the mountains of east Tennessee (but not the incredible heat and humidity). The past few days I've been putting together a website with some photos and such, but it is not really complete yet. Check it out.

    It's been fun keeping up with your progress. Hopefully you will see this comment, because I can't find a link to email you directly. Send us an email or something when you have a chance (link on our site), and remember you are always welcome to stay with us if you ever make it to France. And Alan, I may have some cookies for you, cause I know you like the sweets.

    I'll be following along on your journey and indulging myself vicariously through you guys.

    Talk to you soon!