Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 25: Everton, MO to Pittsburg, KS (63 Miles)

I think I can sleep more soundly in a tent now as opposed to a warm, comfortable bed! The hunting dog kennel was just outside my window, so I would wake up to each howl and bark they directed toward nocturnal creatures. I moved my sleeping bag onto the couch of the lodge and was rewarded with a few hours of solid sleep. I awoke to Dowds informing me that an ominous thunder squall was coming in our direction. I sat on the back porch and watched the furious storm roll towards us and the others woke up to the rolling thunder shaking the lodge. With crusty eyes and frequent yawns, we slowly went along in preparing our breakfast. Chris decided to try making American pancakes without milk, which proved to be a difficult and somewhat successful process.

Deciding to wait out the storm before heading out, Dowds and Callum went back to get their sleep in and I popped in a quail hunting safety/instructional video... enthralling entertainment. It began to lighten up around 10:00AM and I took off towards Golden City, home of Cooky's Cafe and the "best pie on the Trans-Am Trail." The ride towards town was initially hilly and wet; however, after climbing over one crest, I finally reached the flat lands of the Midwest. I arrived into town a bit before the rest and hurried down some lunch. Callum, Chris and Dowds arrived in style and we had a good time flirting with the waitress and eating loads of pie. Callum and I departed short after 1:00PM, leaving Chris and Dowds to eat more slices of pie.

Oh, and as we were flipping through the cyclist log book at Cooky's, we stumbled upon this fascinating entry:

Feeling great with flat lands ahead of us, Callum and I raced toward the Kansas border (hoping we'd beat Dowds across the border). We came across signs noting that our route was closed in 6... 4... 2 miles. We were warned of this detour and were told it's best to just walk the 200 yards and cross the highway. We promptly got off our bikes and quickly noticed the wet mud/clay mixed together to create a quicksand concoction that stopped out bikes in their tracks. It became nearly impossible to push the bikes along and we were forced to press onward with periodic intervals of picking up the bikes and dragging them along in the mud. After we reached a certain point, we noticed that the mud pile had a drop off leading onto the highway. We had to backtrack to the side and then we noticed Chris and Dowds had caught up with us.

We spent a good 30 minutes trying to get the gunk from under our fenders, forks, and brakes. We then noticed there was a 20 yard ditch/run-off between us and the highway. Seeing no other alternative, we sucked it up and pushed forward through the waist-high brush. I went first and blazed a trail for my friends, but I took on the brunt of the pricky bushes and I emerged with bleeding legs. We then jogged across four lanes of fast moving traffic and cleaned off our bikes yet again. What should have taken us 60 seconds to ride across 400 yards of road, ended up taking us over an hour. It was quite the ordeal.

Finally taking off again, we ran into another east-bounder and we shared tips about places to stay, what to expect, etc. As we said our goodbyes, Callum and Dowds darted for the state border. Chris and I were the only ones carrying the map and we knew that there was at least 8 more miles until the border, therefore we just smiled and let these two fools sprint for Kansas. They kept a good 25mph pace until the border and we found them rather spent, but not too much to pose for this picture...


Dad said...

Suggest you go it alone at this point.....Your buddies are starting to wierd me out.

Amy said...

Hey Blake,
My college roommate lives in Wichita. I know you are passing north of there, but if you need anything she said she'd be more than willing to put you up for a night. Here is her info: Jill Cohan Martin

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