Tuesday July 28
This day (now a couple days behind me as I got behind) doesn’t bring to mind any vivid memories. All the days are starting to blur together. This should be a warning to me that I need to get these thoughts down each and every day before I lose them. Unfortunately, time is not always on my side or I’ve exhausted myself or else the battery on the computer. It may have been the computer battery this time. I can’t remember. But here is what I do remember.
We woke up in Newton Kansas still situated in the city park. Funny how that happens. You go to sleep and wake up in the same place you were the night before! What an observation. We packed up and were about to leave the park when a local person invited us to stop by and have a shower or breakfast or just stop by. Initially we declined as there were miles to be ridden, but her offer was still out there as she was going to be walking back by the same way in a few minutes. When she returned we decided to take her up on her offer and make a phone call to the reporter from the Saginaw News that Grandma Elaine sicced on us. We got directions and within 20 minutes were pulling up to their house just a few blocks away. The Jensens? Susan and Jim, have rescued other cyclists when the park we stayed at was overrun by locals during a fourth of July celebration. Jim has a brother who once rode a bicycle from some burg in England all the way to New Delhi in India. That was back in the 70’s. I made a couple of futile phone calls while Donna and Lewis visited. Lewis played his recital piano piece for the Jensens as they have a baby grand piano in their living room. It turns out that Susan teaches piano lessons and was impressed with Lewis ability. When she asked if he was learning the Suzuki way, Donna responded no. I wasn’t quick enough to point out that he was learning by the ‘Salzer’ method. We’re not really sure which style he is learning by. We found out that they have a son who will be attending Evergreen in Olympia this fall. What a small small world. We invited them to stay with us if they ever find their way to Olympia.
We departed and headed for the Bread Basket bakery/restaurant. This was purported to be a bicyclist’s idea of a breakfast paradise. An all you can eat buffet! Donna and I chose the all you can eat (of course), while Lewis (who eats like a bird) got the one time medium plate of buffet. But this ended up being his lucky day. When he inquired about the display case holding all of the pastries, initially he was told that those were not included in the buffet. However, the person took a liking to Lewis and decided he was a special case since he was easily the youngest cylist to ever stop and eat at their restaurant. He was granted his choice of pastries at no charge! He took a gigantic cream puff that just kept saying to him “Eat me, Eat me”. And we kept telling him to eat his breakfast first! Ultimately, both were taken care of. He is a cyclist after all!
After breakfast was consumed, the road was waiting. It was another 10:00 start but with a meal like that, it was worth the delay. Once we began our journey for the day, we would have to pedal the first 38 miles with no services available. This ended up not being too tough as the temperatures stay moderate (80’s) and the wind while slight, was a bit behind us. The first 3 hours we averaged nearly 14 mph and by 2:00 pulled into the town of Cassoday and filled up on beverages and ice cream only. The next 17 miles of our ride were supposed to be something special as relayed to us through Jim and Susan who repeated what some cyclists reported about this section. They claimed it was the prettiest section of the Trans Am route so far as they were heading east to west. When we rode this section it didn’t strike us as spectacular at all. It did remind me of my childhood when I used to pedal from Bridgeport to Frankenmuth. Slight rolling hills with fields full of green. That’s about it. I guess there were some spectacular cloud formations that day that weren’t repeated for us. Our formations were mostly cloudy with threatening weather approaching us from behind.
We pulled into Rosalia Kansas by 3:00 and stopped in the small café to enjoy a cold lemonade. I ended up making the phone call to the Saginaw News reporter which chewed up over a half hour of our time. When we departed Rosalia, with a 20 mile ride remaining before we reached our final destination (Eureka), the winds had picked up and changed direction(into our faces). The threatening skies now were no longer threatening. They promised to dump rain and lots of it. We raced off like mad men and women and children but only managed to do 10 to 12 mph due to the head winds. The rain beat us to Eureka but only by 10 minutes of so. Fortunately we were able to beat the thunderstorms though. We huddled under the covered picnic table area for most of an hour before the rain stopped and the skies began to clear.
One casualty of the storm was that the community pool had closed as soon as they knew the storm was approaching. And once these pools close, they do not reopen until the next day. That meant no swimming, and no showers! Dang, and double Dang! Some groceries were purchased in town and then consumed upon our return. When we got back to the park, we noticed some other cyclists there too! Lewis took an immediate liking to Mia and Rebecca. They seemed to enjoy him too! That pretty much concludes the day other than the illegal activities that Lewis and I did just before dark. We climbed over the fence and jumped into the community pool. That was worth the risk as my salt encrusted body was in many repects, very similar to a potato chip! I couldn’t convince Donna to join us but I probably would have had a hard time lifting her over the fence like I did with Lewis. She used the restroom and a washrag and reported satisfactory results. We ended up riding 78 miles this day. And it was a good day and then a not so good day and then a good night!