April 26, 1999
From Florence North on 77/56, turned west on 256 through Marion, followed 256 to 56 W., continued on 56 W. to McPherson, turned north on Main Street - which turns into county road 1961 and then Bus. 81 and stopped in Lindsborg.
According to the days weather forecast there would be heavy rains and thunderstorms in the afternoon. I was anxious to get as far as I could before the rains came. I stopped at a store and bought two Gatorades and some Nutri-Grain cereal bars. When I was getting ready to leave, a guy walked up and asked questions about my ride. After telling him my trip itinerary, I commented on the rain and how I was hoping to beat it to Salina. He said, "Well, I was hoping to ask you to talk to my class today. I teach Special Ed. Students " Before I commented he added, "But I understand, you have to make time on the road." I looked at my watch, and seeing that it was already 7:45am, I said yeah and re-explained my reasoning. I did give him the web address in case he might be interested in following the trip.
After I left, I began to think about the opportunity that I had been given to speak to those kids. By the time I reached Marion, I was feeling guilty. Why didnt I do it? There have been so many things other people have done for me and this was an opportunity for me to give something back! The more I thought about it, the more upset I got with myself. Even if I had to sacrifice a day, it would have been worth it. My mind was so focused on getting ahead of the rain hoping to set up my tent before the rain started. The motels are getting expensive and it looks like Ill be broke by the end of the trip. Oh well, everything will work out. I just know it will. Maybe I can go back and talk to his class after the trip is done?
When I reached Marion, I stopped at the Post Office to mail my photos and journal entries. As I was leaving, Rowena from the local newspaper stopped me. One of the guys inside had called her after they found out about my bike journey. Two of the guys inside enjoyed cycling and took an interest in what I was doing. Rowena took my information, asking the who, what, when, where, and why, of my trip. Then, as she was taking my picture, we heard a lot of sirens and an ambulance drove by. Then she was informed of a traffic fatality about 2 miles away. All of a sudden, I felt terrible inside. Here I am smiling and happy in front of a camera as someone died in a car accident just down the road.
Anyway, I continued on and stopped at a small gas station called "The Station," in Galva to use the bathroom. I noticed the pizzas and decided to eat lunch there. Unfortunately, all the pizzas there had meat on them and since I dont eat red meat, I ordered a turkey sub instead. One of the ladies was very interested in hearing about my trip. She look to be .hmmm .mid-twenties? Im not sure about the age. As I was talking to another guy in the store, she walked up with her arms full of trail mix packages. "Do you eat these?" "Yeah, I do." "Theyre yours." "Really? Wow Thanks!", I said with a big smile on my face. OK now, kick me and wake me up!! Her name is Lisa and she owns "The Station", She bought it about 6 months ago. If any other cyclist happens to be in Galva, stop in and say Hi to Lisa and have lunch from the Deli. You dont always find exceptional people like this on the road so Im trying to make it a point to highlight these special places.
Since I started todays ride the pedaling was easy and I had a tailwind. All the way to McPherson was exceptionally easy as I exerted very little effort. As I headed north to Lindsborg I had a crosswind which was soon accompanied by rain. Ugh! Im beginning to get used to the rain but what I didnt like was the lightning as I was cycling on the flat Kansas plains. And yes, It is now getting very flat.
By the time I reached the Coronado Motel in Lindsborg, I was very happy to be able to get out of the thunderstorm. I called Steve and he checked my email for me and then faxed two of them to me. One from Bill, giving me more route suggestions to Missoula. The other from Gianluca describing his bike ride from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay and back. I know that it will be about 500 miles each way (1000 miles total) with only one stop halfway, in Coldfoot. Coldfoot is just a small gas station with a restaurant and they sell no packable food. Deadhorse, the town at Prudhoe Bay, is the same way. That trek will be my most challenging and that is when Ill really need to have a rear rack and panniers. I couldnt believe his food list! Looked like at least 50 lbs. Of food! Hopefully I can find what I need in Missoula since Im changing my route to go there.
By the way, Bill(in my guestbook) mentioned the "Buttr" stuff Ive been using. That really did help I couldnt believe the difference. But now Ive quit using it and I guess my butt is finally "broken in." :-)
Today - 64.8 miles