After a wonderful 4th of July we woke up wanting to get on the bike. We had done about 35 miles yesterday and needed to make up for lost time. Our plan was to ride at least a 100 miles but for this the wind would need to help us. After a cup of coffee and breakfast at the gas station we headed out. I discovered yesterday that Oat meal and nuts have been a fantastic breakfast at least while riding. At home there would be no way i would even think of eating oatmeal.
Camels in Kansas
Back on the road and our first stop was the town of Nickerson. Just before i got to town i saw a bunch of camels on the side of the road. Quickly took a picture to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. I stopped at the gas station in Nickerson waiting for Don to catch up since he had stopped to drop of a broacher on the way. Don rode in with 2 tourers. They were from the Netherlands who had stayed at Sterling last night. They had arrived at 8 int he evening and were too tired to go out and explore the town. I quickly finished my cup of coffee and caught up to them. The husband and wife duo used to do a lot of volunteer work in Africa in the past. They were doctors and had just retired. Chatted with them for a while about their experience in the US. Even they thought it was way too cold. Now its way too hot. As we talked we bumped into another cyclists. She was from a town of Huttinson close by. She ran a bicyclists hostel and told me about he bike shop in town. This was the only town between here and Newton that had a bike shop. Since none of us needed anything from the bike shop we went ahead to Hesston. Entering Hesston we stopped at a sign that was setup for all TABR racers. A quick picture and a chat with a dot watcher . A reporter from the Hesston record wanted to chat with us for a bit. As Don chatted with him I headed to the gas station. It had gotten super hot and time for a coke.
The lovely sign made just for us
Our lunch stop would be the town of Buhler. A quick 20 mile ride and we found the town. Went into the town and found a small grocery store to get some food. They had a pizza place inside so got a pizza. The Senior centre next door gave out free coffee and let people use the restroom. We discovered after an old lady came out to chat with us. Since the board outside said you have to be 50 years old to come in I waited for Don to go in first. After the lunch stop we headed out. Our plan was to get out of Newton as quickly as we can to get Cassoday for the night. After a little while on the bike we rolled into Newton. Don wanted to go to the bike shop to say hello and I went ahead to the gas station. LE showed up a few minutes later. He had taken the alternative route and it seemed to be brilliant. He showed us a bunch of pics, the shoulders were as wide as the road we just rode on.
We started to ride towards Cassoday. By the time it got dark we still had about 20 miles to go. Don found a church on the side of the road at Burns. There were a bunch of people in the fellowship hall and Don got them to agree to let us sleep outside and use the bathroom inside. As we started to talk to the people we discovered that there was a wedding a couple of days later and prep work for it was happening. The Mennonite church here ran a school for the kids in the community. According to Dwayne the church runs a separate school so that the kids in the Mennonite community can be protected from the bad influences and habits that they would pick up in a regular school. As i talked to them I discovered that in order to marry into the community you would need to convert. One of the things that was non negotiable. I tried to understand what was different between them and the Amish or the Catholics but nobody could give me a definitive answer since none of them had read enough about the the other sects to know enough. Lovely bunch of people gave me a Gallon of coffee and even freshly brewed some more for me to drink later. One of the guys in the church ran a couple of power chords out to the overhang for us to charge our phones. All of us quickly used the loo since they were going to leave and would need to lock up.
With Dwayne at Edes Mennonite Church
Just before we headed to bed Don from his wife that a racer who was involved in an accident had passed away. From being joyous everyone got quiet. A a moment of silence and I setup my bed for the night. LE decided to sleep for a bit and leave when he woke up. Don wanted a little privacy and found another spot on the side of the church nearer to the graveyard. There was no way i would sleep that close to the cemetery so stayed put at the overhang. The winds were strong but no rains which was good news. Hopefully tomorrow would be a nice day without any winds. I still seem to have some hope to ride about 100 to 125 miles. Only time will tell.
Our home for the night
Lesson for the day: Camels are raised in Kansas for their meat
Up Next: Day 35, Burns to Benedict