Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 28 - La Crosse, KS to Scott City, KS. 100+ miles

The sun poured through the mesh lining of my tent and I was rolling. After a few short miles, some coffee, clif bars and a flat I met a couple from the Netherlands who were also traveling across this country. At this very moment I can't remember their names but they were incredibly friendly and just as eager to talk about their trip as I was mine. I'm also fairly certain they were skinnier than I was. I mean, being from Europe, folks just seem to stay thin, unlike the US, and with all the riding they had been doing in the last 5 weeks, they were toothpicks.

They had started traveling in Washington DC and were headed to Portland, OR via the transamerica trail. I think I may actually run into them again in yellowstone. We shall see. These two were just taking their time and enjoying it as much as possible - actually they had never been to the US so I can understand their curiosity for all things American. I noticed that the gentleman had bad sunburns on his hands and was fairly wrapped up. His third day in, he acquired lime disease from some tick and was forced to go see a doctor as well as take a trip to the hospital. The sunburn was from the antibiotics he was taking. I think most people would have called their trip off at this point, but not these guys. They were just dealing with it and had been on the road for well over a month. We parted ways, well we headed in the same direction but I just sped off in front as I had some serious distance to cover - or at least, wanted to cover.

I stopped and heated some chili at a local rest area and just as I finished eating, the happy Dutch came rolling in. We sat together and chatted again. They ate half a loaf of bread with peanut butter and jelly. We spoke about how much food we were consuming and about how nice it will be when the trip is over. But don't get me wrong, the trip is great, its just the idea of wrapping it up and saying 'wow, i just did that!' They told me how they noticed how big everything is here in the States. Big cars, big food, big houses, big buildings. "big people" i interjected. I know they were just trying to be nice and not say it, so I just threw it out there because we were all thinking it.

Once again I was off with nearly 85 miles still to cover. Nearing 1pm I rolled into Ness City, KS. Temperatures were approaching 100 and I was just waiting for tumbleweeds to come rolling through and for the Old West to come to life. What that means, I'm not exactly sure. But one thing I know, don't eat at the Cactus Club if you like service or good food, that's all I'm sayin'. Welp, after some grub and some huge ice cream treat I was off into the hot sun.

The wind was strong out of the south and then suddenly switched and came from the north just as I started a long northwesterly route. Everyone says Kansas is flat. Yeah, it is when you're in a car because you don't notice any of the elevation gains or losses. You don't notice that the horizon is above or below your line of sight. Well, when you can see 15 miles into the distance and the horizon is nothing but up, that my friends, is one long hill. Think about that the next time you roll through KS. Just notice how many time you go up and down.

My Dutch pals gave me one piece of fantastic advice. They told me that it's possible to sleep in city parks, especially ones that are used to cyclists rolling through town. I hit the town of Drighton in the early evening and Scott City was still 25 miles out. I phoned the Scott City Poh Leese and notified them of my arrival. "Cool" they said. "Ride safe."

I rolled into Scott City near sunset and set up camp. A couple, enjoying the perfect weather, came walking past and we started to discuss the ride. The young lady of the two said something that I couldn't tell was a positive or a negative thing, but nonetheless, I mentioned how I tried to get people to come with me on this trip and how tough it was to get anyone to commit to a 3 month venture. "Yeah, it's probably tough to get folks to just stop what they're doing so they can screw-off for 3 months." Uh....what? What are you saying to me? Are you being funny or saying that I'm just screwing off? I thought all this and replied with something I think is very very true. "I think the only reason we have jobs and work is so we have the means to screw-off." I mean who really wants to work? I guarantee most everyone is only working to support all their screwing-off. But of course there are those who also work just to get by. I get it.

Honestly, I'm gonna keep working but it's absolutely to support my screwing-off, at least at this stage of the game. Who's with me?

Ok, peace out.

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