Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Midwest rolls on
I seem to have already broken my promise of more posts, so I must ask for our readers' forgiveness. The days pass surprisingly quick in the support van! My days riding shotgun are almost numbered, however, so I expect to blog more frequently when I'm back on the road. There's more time to think and more things to notice when you are crawling along between 15-20 mph.
Tuesday's blog was left off with 50 miles to go. Those miles went smoothly and we gathered in Eureka, KS to camp for the evening. About a week ago some other riders, those headed towards the West Coast, informed us that we were allowed to pitch tents in city parks. So that was exactly what we did. It was a cozy little spot and we fell asleep to the sounds of a far off thunderstorm.
Yesterday was the first day that the winds died down at all. As he has been doing with these long days, Dave got up earlier and hit the road while Lauren and I broke camp. Things were going great until our first break. Just after Dave got back on the road we saw some serious storm clouds gathering in the distance. Lauren and I drove only a little ways before the rain started to fall. We turned around and got Dave in the Dave just before the biggest downpour of the trip.
With thunder and lightening all around us, the team made the executive decision to drive the 15 miles between us and Chanute in order to get some safe shelter. It is never a pleasant decision to skip any amount of miles, but we felt it was best.
In Chanute we grabbed subs in a little shop that served BIG sandwiches. Perhaps he forgot he still had to bike, but Dave ate a 12-inch sub (they serve at least 5 oz. of meat alone per 6 inch sandwiches!) and promptly slouched to the car to sleep it off. Lauren and I sat at the small round tables outside- think Parisian cafe style- reading.
The miles continued on and eventually we wound up in Pittsburgh, KS, a town on the Missouri border. There we grabbed dinner at one of the local Pizza Huts and went over to the local movie theater to catch the latest Harry Potter movie. We'd all been wanting to see a movie for several weeks now so we enjoyed sinking into those big, comfy chairs and watching some serious magic. Afterwards we pitched a tent in the local park and fell asleep.
Right now we are back on the road and 55 miles from our destination. We crossed the Missouri border about 20 miles back. The afternoon could have some great media coverage in store for us. We contacted a family, Chris and Robyn, on CouchSurfer two nights ago in Eureka hoping they could get us a place to stay. Only a few hours later we received a call from Chris who was in the hospital with his wife who had just given birth to their first child! He had heard about our ride and wanted to help get us some coverage in Springfield! Needless to say the whole team was extremely appreciative and awed at his go-get-'em attitude; becoming a father wasn't busy enough of a day for Chris, he had to get in touch with local TV and radio stations too! Can't wait to meet him, he seems like a very, very cool guy.
That's all for right now. I will do my best to get some photos up and another blog soon. My chest stitches come out today so I should be in very high spirits. Thanks for reading and come again soon!
Answer to the last trivia question: Laika, a Soviet dog, was the first animal from Earth to enter space. Nate Rooks steals all 10 points of the day!
Today's trivia Question: Florida is the Sunshine state. Massachusetts in the Bay State. California is the Golden State. What is Missouri?
Posted by Austin Carroll Keeley at 8:34 AM