Greetings from Larned, Kansas! (not sure how the town got that name, maybe it’s a takeoff on “learned”…)
Our ride today was the toughest yet of the trip, not because of the mileage (66 today), but because of the very strong, relentless, in your face no matter which way you ride, deafening, morale killing, exhausting wind.
Other than that it was a nice day.
Actually, despite the wind, we had a good day, but it truly was difficult. Our route took us due east for the first 33 miles, and then turned 90 degrees to the south, hoping that the wind would relent a bit, but, well, you know the story.
The highlights of the day were…..
Truly beautiful Kansas scenery including some actual hills that took a few minutes to ascend.
Awesome, kind people, including two farmers driving harvesters that were kicking up huge clouds of dust who STOPPED their work as we pedaled by so as not to choke us out!
Effie, the lovely 88 year old owner of Effie’s Restaurant who gave us about a gallon of free iced tea.
Hank, the farmer who pulled over to chat while we were taking a break just to encourage us to ride cautiously.
And Jerry, the west-bound rider we met at breakfast who, obviously was a Democrat, but who mounted an American flag on his bike just to make Kansas Republicans happy ( and not run him off the road… We’re each getting one today!).
The one real low point was when Devon got violently sick moments after taking a big slug from his water bottle. Cramps, vomiting, doubled up in pain and writhing on the ground. “Devon! I yelled. What’s wrong?” But he was in such pain that he was incapable of responding. I saw his water bottle laying there next to him, and picked it up to have a look (smell, actually) of what he was drinking. His bottle, it seems had not been cleaned since last Sunday, not even RINSED! and smelled so unbelievably foul that I nearly became sick just from a little sniff!
The part about Devon getting really sick is, well, a bit exaggerated, but the water bottle part is the honest truth! It was really, really nasty!
Larned is a nice town of about 4500, and we are headed for the park where bikers camp for free. It is great to be here, and all is well. Tomorrow it’s Hutchinson, about 65 miles east. Total mileage so far is 430.
We both are missing our family’s and friends back home.