When I woke at 5am to the RV shaking from the wind, I just knew today was going to be a tough day. 51 miles directly into 31 mph wind with scorching sun, 90-degree heat, and 50% humidity, on a road with no shoulder and lots of semis. What a challenging ride! Good thing I rode with Wendy to stay safe and to commiserate.
As soon as we finished, the sky darkened and another Kansas storm came thundering through. Lightning danced across the sky (of course Justin captured it!) and rain came pouring down for hours. There was a tornado in Ness City today, a town I rode through just yesterday afternoon. And tonight the RV was shaking so much in the wind, I thought we were on our way to the yellow brick road!
A cheering fan asked me about what I eat during an almost 100-mile-ride day. I’m almost embarrassed to share. Here goes. Over the course of 12 hours yesterday, I ate: dry cereal for breakfast, 2 granola bars (chocolate chip, of course), whole-wheat-almond-butter-banana-honey sandwich, fists of granola (dark chocolate/raisins/almonds), whole wheat pita chips, hummus and carrots, 2 pork and potato tamales, corn on the cob, roasted red peppers, rice and beans, grilled shrimp, and 2 s’mores. And lots and lots of water. It’s a good thing I’m burning so many calories! (Elaine’s dogs from Bicycle Oasis are pictured)
We had lunch at the infamous Effie’s Place, a hamburger joint that Effie opened 45 years ago in Rush Center (a tiny, blinkable town on our route). Sherry has been running the joint for 35 of those years while Effie stays in the back making her famous hamburgers. Sherry shared with us that she loves the people who have been coming to Effie’s as long as she has. In addition, she loves meeting the colorful people (like us!) who pass through every day. Look at this adorable woman (Effie is in the picture) – who wouldn’t want to work for her for 35 years?!
- Sign constructed into the side of a hill using white bricks: “Christ Pilot Me” (I was thinking the same thing as I battled the wind but my thought had a few more exclamation points)
- Corn and wheat literally blowing sideways in the wind (pictured!)
- A thermometer edging dangerously close to 100 degrees
- A herd of cows that literally ran alongside us in the field as we rode by on the bike
- The lightning storm – our 3rd storm in our 3rd day in Kansas!
- The old deserted barns sprinkled throughout the farmlands (one pictured below)
- The beautiful fields, each one with its own personality
- Sign: “Effie’s Place: 8 Wonders of NW Kansas Cuisine” (a hamburger – wonders of cuisine for the middle of nowhere)
Day 33 miles: 51.61
Total mileage: 2,053.60
Day 33 ascent: 2264 ft
Total interviews: 53
Road kill count: 320 (added 29 today, including my first turtle…)
Destination for Day 34: Hutchinson, Kansas (must be the middle of somewhere because they have a Starbucks with my name on it!)