Monday, July 27, 2009

Just Another Sunday in Hutchinson Kansas

Sunday July 26

The day that started at the Zion Lutheran Church has now almost officially ended at the same place. We slept in until 8:00 . We wanted to make sure no one walked in on us sleeping on the stage in the basement. Didn’t happen. It was a quiet and restful night for a pleasant change. The first church goers arrived around 9:00 and by 9:30 we’d met at least a dozen different people who came down to get things ready for the after church social that was extra special today because of a couple of baptisms. The congregation is used to having strangers sleeping in the basement. Donna and I put on our best duds and Lewis just got dressed. We joined the 40 or so worshippers upstairs for a pretty traditional Lutheran service. I’m not sure what makes a Lutheran church go Zion! They didn’t dance with snakes or speak in tongues or even knock the catholics. The one thing that was just a bit different was the “Peace be with you, and also with you thing”. In the past I’ve seen this type of activity where greetings are made to those around you. But these Zion Lutherans took it one step beyond. People spent over 5 minutes shaking hands with every single person in the building, including the dirty cyclists! We didn’t even have to leave our seat and got to meet everyone!

Just before the end of the service, the pastor called all the children up to congregate and just summarize what he had been preaching for the previous 50 minutes. While lewis normally hesitates when presented the same opportunity at the regular Lutheran church in Shelton, the new cycling tourist version of Lewis jumped at the opportunity to come forward. Perhaps he too is a Zionist! There was a girl about Lewis age and then a couple of younger children maybe 3 and 5 years of age. The perfunctory questions that were asked of the children were answered satisfactorily. When the pastor asked if there were any questions, that was when it got interesting. Evidently this particular pastor has a circulatory problem and has had a leg amputated but is required to have a device which inflates then deflates around the remaining portion of his leg. At least one of the children picked up on the humming noise that was emanating from behind his frock. He explained in simplistic terms the reason his leg was humming. This is when Lewis put his two cents worth in. When he asked the elderly clergy man if his leg could lite up as well, the entire congregation was in stitches. That’s our boy!

After the service we joined in for the baptism cake eating celebration. After all, what touring cyclist would turn down free cake? LewIs made another best friend this time with Hanna (although he still intends on marrying Annie Woodbury formerly of Tenino Washington). Hanna was the young lady Lewis’ age and was extremely precocious. Lewis was up to the task though. She was also taking piano lessons but admiitted that Lewis was a bit more advanced than she. The two of them shared cake and secrets and she showed Lewis all of the hidden passageways that the old church was full of. By 1:00 or so we once again had the church to ourselves. This was more like it!l!

During the cake eating celebration someone told us about the Kosmosphere. Evidently this is the largest museum of space flight in the country aside from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. We decided that we had to check this out. Besides, we had an appointment at Walmart and would be going right by! I have to say I was impressed with what I saw. While we didn’t fork over the bucks to see the entire museum, what was free for all in the lobby was worth way more than nothing! They had a black jet fighter plane that was huge and it hung from the ceiling. Actually, they built the building around this jet once it had been obtained from NASA. There was a full scale mockup of the space shuttle as well as bits and pieces of several actual spacecraft. But since we’ll be paying the big bucks to see what the Smithsonian has to offer, we were OK at just imagining what we might have missed by holding on to our money.

Our next stop was another mile down the road where we found the Walmart. Lewis had been granted approval to get yet another Transformer figure as we had previously sent a couple back to Shelton making room for a new addition. This time he chose one that looked like a bulldozer but transformed into some kind of wicked monster. I just don’t get it. But I’m also not 9 years old. In addition we picked up some more fruit and some granola bars and another gatorade and some crackers and fritos and a tub of sour cream. We weren’t going to let this opportunity to feast just pass us by! We also bought a package of hamburger buns and some deli meat that became our lunch and eventually our dinner as well (besides finishing off the watermelon and ice cream from the day before). Are you people catching on that food has become a priority? Almost an obsession? And yet I continue to waste away. What a cruel cruel world. The difficult part for me will be when this cylcling routine comes to an end and I’ll have to scale back on the eating or else that spare tire will return, right back where it used to be. I think I can. I hope I can. I can! Or not.

We are now relaxing back at the church. Donna and Lewis are watching the final part of the Ten Comandments while I finish up the journal for today. Previously I patched a couple of inner tubes that had been punctured last week. We’ve washed all of our dirty clothes which are now drying next to a fan. The last thing I might do is start packing up a bit but maybe not. Tomorrow we have a shorter ride of just about 50 miles. Did I mention that today on the day we decided not to ride, the wind was out of the west! I had predicted this to myself and it happened. I’ll go out on a limb and predict the same for tomorrow (but It’ll never happen). It was a sticky one again as well. The mercury climbed into the low 90’s. We have a bunch of these sticky ones ahead, so might as well get used to them. We bid you all a fond farewell and have a nice week. We’ll be sweating our asses off trying to get out of Kansas before next Sunday. Looking forward to Missouri and the rest of the trip. Adieu!


  1. So, it is hot there. Guess what it was 98 degrees here today. It will remain in the 90's through the rest of this week. I am leaving one hot place to join you in Kansas on Friday. I enjoyed reading this blog: funny and interesting. Especially loved the question about the leg from Lewis. Only Lewis can come up with that. But wouldn't be cool if his leg really did glow or change colors. Hey, he wouldn't even need to carry a flashlight. I am sure you have seen enough of Kansas, the scenery doesn't change much. Rolling hills, wheat, rows of trees: especially poplar trees, rolling hills, wheat, sunflowers, poplar trees, etc. Have a great ride...Janis,Tom,Jenna,and Kelsey

  2. just love reading your letters.. uncle richard and i are following your travels....keep having fun