DAY 44

April 27, 1999

This was another one of those lazy mornings for me. I've never been a morning person and some days I really have to force myself up. The continental breakfast was supposed to be ready at 7am, so I got up and went at 7:10am. There was a young teenager there that said it wasn’t ready yet. I asked what time it would be ready and he replied, "I don’t know. Whenever my parents feel like getting up." I went back to my room and got a call at 7:30am saying it was ready. Not much of a breakfast, no bread and no bagels. I really like bread and bagels, dang it!

When I was leaving, I tried to ask the lady about the roads I had marked on my map. She made it apparent that she was not interested in giving me advice on my route. She just took a quick glance and said "Yeah". As I was leaving, she took the dog out to use the bathroom. The dog was barking at me and she gave me some snotty remark about how the dog doesn’t like cyclists. I was very unimpressed with the motel. When I checked in, the husband seemed to have a very flat affect. He did not appear to be very enthusiastic about owning the motel. The motel was purchased when farming had failed for him and his family. According to him, the only way to make it in farming these days is in very large volume. Most of the people in town are of Swiss descent. Lindsborg was started by a group from Switzerland back in the 1800’s. The town has preserved much of the culture. There are many unique shops and art studios. I got the feeling that the "transplants" owning the motel were not very happy with how things have turned out for them. There was a "Viking" motel down the road, I should have stayed at.

Leaving Lindsborg, I headed west on 4. I did not want to pedal at all. My legs were cold in the 54 degree temp with crosswinds. I hate the wind! Ahhhhh!!!! Good, now I feel better :-)  I moved exceptionally slow because I didn’t want to ride at all. When I reached 141, I headed north and rode by a very nice lake with State Park campgrounds. (Kanopolis Lake) It was way too early to stop here for the day. I had only gone about 20 miles and still needed to get some distance in. There was supposed to be 2-3 days of no rain and I really wanted to take advantage of the dry weather. I stopped at the "Korner Mart" which is north of the lake and past the "Big Bear" store. The only food on the menu was burgers and hot dogs. I looked around the store and found tuna on the shelf. I asked her if she could sell me one of her hamburger buns to go with my tuna. She opened the cans of tuna, gave me a fork and bun, and only charged me 79 cents for the tuna. There was a table of older ladies that I spoke to while I ate my lunch. Everyone was very nice and it brightened my spirits.

Continuing north, the landscape began to remind me of south central New Mexico. Lots of rolling hills with rocks jutting out from hillsides. The sun was out, warming me up and making the day brighter. I was in a much better mood, especially with the scenic landscape. I was constantly reminded of New Mexico and I thought of the good times and good friends I’d had there. When I reached 14, I headed west past Caneiro. The ladies back at the store said there were no longer any businesses there and haven’t been for a long time. There were some houses where people still lived but the building for the old businesses have long since been abandoned.

Reaching Ellsworth, I decided to stop since the campground I was going to was still about 25 miles away. I was off to a late start and as I said before, I pedaled extremely slow today. The lady at the store said they had no campground and only the "Best Western" or a bed and breakfast. She was really pushing the B&B and offered to call for me. The owner of the B&B said she’d give me a corporate discount to match the price of the motel ($42.00.) I had never been to a bed and breakfast before and wasn’t sure I wanted to stay there. But I decided to support a local business rather than a corporate chain.

The "Ira Lloyd House Bed and Breakfast" was only about a half mile away. Riding up to the 3 story home I wasn’t too impressed with the outside. I expected it to look like some of those really neat Victorian homes in North Carolina and Virginia. When I went inside, I was overwhelmed with an elegant interior, richly decorated with antiques. The owner, Clovia, said she has spent all of her time on the inside so far. There was a new, 20 some thousand dollar front porch added, but there was still more to be done on the outside.

At first I was uncomfortable inside someone else's home. In a motel I could wheel in my bike, hand wash my clothes, hang them around the room to dry, be a slob, and fix my own meals with dehydrated food. But Clovia was very nice and I was the only guest for the night. Well, she also had her 6-yr. Old granddaughter Kayla there. She even offered to wash my clothes for me.After I took my shower, Clovia recommended the restaurant downtown to me. As I rode my bike to the end of her street, I saw the DQ sign just 300 yards away and decided to get a grilled chicken sandwich instead. I’m trying to save money as much as possible, wherever I can. This trip is costing much more than I expected. Actually, I should have gone to the grocery store and picked up a few things.

When I returned, I sat in the living room and talked to Clovia for awhile. Found out about her and her family. She asked what I wanted for breakfast. Telling me she would fix anything I wanted, I was confused with too many choices. I finally decided on cereal with skim milk, a bagel sandwich with egg whites, fresh fruit, and orange juice.

Soon Clovia’s husband came home and Kayla was very excited to see him. I think she felt left out since Clovia and I were talking. But when her husband and I began discussing my route for tomorrow, Kayla got a little upset. I felt bad for her since she wasn’t getting the attention she wanted. A part of me wanted to play a game with her or something so she wouldn’t feel ignored. So I decided to get my camera and lenses and show them to her. As I let her look through he camera with the different lenses, her teary eyes were replaced by a smile. She was amazed at the difference between the 300mm and the 20mm lens. I think it was fun for her to hold the camera and focus in on different things outside. We were on the front porch and I told Kayla what each one could be used for. I told her I could use the 300mm to take a picture of a big grizzly bear and be really far away so he wouldn’t eat me for dinner. It made me feel good to cheer her up and it made me wonder if I could be a good parent someday. The thought of kids sometimes scares me, but other times, I think of everything I could share and teach.

Afterwards, I went to my room upstairs, drank hot tea, and wrote in my journal.

Today - 45.77 miles
Total -  2242 miles
Avg. Speed - 7.0mph

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