Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 27 - Hutchinson, KS to La Crosse, KS - 115 miles

woo wee boy, it was a long and hot one.

I was up before 6am and on the road by 7, escaping the wandering rangers. After a few hours I found myself in Sterling, KS where hunger was on my mind. I stopped in at the Sterling Cafe and enjoyed my breakfast as well as someone else's. The waitress had mis-delivered food to me and although I knew the order was wrong, I didn't want to be picky, so I just chowed it. Eventually she said she had given me the wrong b-fast and that mine was on the way. Sweet - 2 breakfasts. During the course of the meal, the waitress and I had become pals, talking about this and that, but oddly enough the cause didn't even come up. I asked her how much I owed and she just said, "it's paid for." "Wait, how'd that happen?" I asked. Apparently while I was washing my hands, someone had paid for it and left. yeah buddy!! but still, I honestly don't feel I deserve such treatment, but I definitely appreciate it when it goes down. Thanks anonymous!

My original plan was to head to a wildlife refuge just outside of Great Bend, KS and post up in their campground for the night. The temperature was 98 degrees in Great Bend at 5pm and suddenly a Dairy Queen appeared so of course I stopped for some cooling ice cream. I rode through said refuge but somehow missed the campground and wound up far on the other side of the park at the exact opposite entrance I had come in. So, I decided to stay there for the night. I unpacked everything and set-up, using the hot sun to dry everything that had gotten soaked in the tall grass from the night before.

After a short conversation with my ma back in CO, I became jazzed to keep moving. There was just too much daylight left to not continue on. I packed everything up, no dry, and rode to the next town. The sun was setting as I rolled in but I knew I had at least 30 miles left in me. I sat down, ate some dinner, and began riding again.

Yes, the wind had died down, the temps dropped, but the bugs came out in full force. Apparently the bugs know when it's time to come out as well. Pretty sure I swallowed some flies, mosquitos, anything with wings really. I cruised well into the night, watching for animal crossings and pulling over for approaching cars. There's no telling who's behind the wheel and what state they're in out in the country where cops don't exist. Riding at night is actually quite nerve racking. I mean, you can't really see the road that well with only a headlamp, you don't know if the person in a car wants to rob you or perhaps just run into you and you can't see what the weather is doing in the distance. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous out there by myself.

At about 11:30 I found a baseball diamond in La Crosse off the main road where I camped out for the night. As I moved about getting everything set, I noticed a skunk walking towards me, just to check me out i'm sure. At first I thought to grab my sleeping bag and get the hell out. But then I said to myself, stop being a sissy and scare that thing off. So I raised up, stomped my feet and made noise. The skunk paused for a moment, turned around and wandered off. I'm sure I smelled just as bad as that skunk though.

Hooray for squatting.

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