Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 27: Toronto, KS to Newton, KS (102.5 Miles)

I was rudely awaken a little after 2:00AM by a small pack of coyotes sniffing away at my pannier bags. I quickly utilized a tactic involving a headlamp and shouting to scare away the mongrels from my Ramen, rice, and assorted granola snacks. It was then I noticed the large shivering dots surrounding my tent. A large colony of spiders decided that my tent would be a solid foundation for setting up their nightly food traps. I attempted to fall back asleep, but the thoughts of rabid beasts and arachnids crawling all over my tent were not conducive to sound sleeping. After one restless hour, I cunningly avoided the spiders and broke camp at 3:00AM. I made the semi-conscious decision to ride to Eureka and find the boys in the motel. It wasn't until I was a half mile down a dark road, with no moon in the sky, that I realized my decision was a bit odd.

Nevertheless, I rode along Route 54 towards Eureka and experienced a peaceful, albeit spooky, ride. Using my mounted lights and headlamp, I saw many sets of eyes staring at me from the side of the road. I took one turn out and saw many sets, only to find a new litter of kittens hanging out in the street. I had to scare one particular feline from it's snugly bed in a pothole, for fear that it may not wake fast enough to hear approaching vehicles. But I digress... So I arrived into town around 4:30AM and began calling out on the walkie-talkie in a feminine voice: "Heeeelllloooo? You boys awakey-wakey?" I then received a retort from Chris saying: "Blake... is that you? Are you mental?" I then found their room and tried to sneak into bed with Callum. I had to wake him to get the pillow he was spooning; however, it really startled him and he woke up violently/confused with a clinched fist and wide eyes. Chris and I laughed as he held this pose for 10 seconds and then he muttered some obscenity and quickly passed out again.

After sleeping in til 7:30AM, we had to get up and get going to the local post office to pick up a general delivery package for Dowds. We snuck in some breakfast and headed westward a bit before 10:00AM. Like an efficient team, we kept very good pace and only stopped to meet a few riders heading in the opposite direction. We met one fellow from the UK and another retired couple from Washington. It's really wonderful to share stories and give warnings/recommendations for the road ahead. We also met two young ladies who can be followed from this blog: ( It seems like Kansas is the best place to meet riders, because there's not too many places they can hide!

Jumping off that last statement: There's not much to Kansas... or at least the Kansas I've seen. You'd be hard-pressed to find a local store in most towns and there are stretched for up to 40 miles without any services whatsoever. I guess the one positive aspect would be that there are many motels and they're cheap... dirt cheap. After my episode this morning, I'm most likely to not camp again until Colorado! Anyways, I think I'm checking into a motel tonight and getting some good sleep in before a short ride into Hutchinson, KS. The boys and I are having a day off on Wednesday to rest our legs, visit a bike shop, and for me to pick up my new debit/credit card. It'll be a long while since I've had a rest day (18 days to be exact) and my body could use some non-cycling. It's not just my legs that cease to function, but my entire body becomes so weak. For example, I had to clip my fingernails using my teeth... because I didn't have enough strength in my fingers to clip down. I'll tell you there's one thing that I can definitely do without much fuss... sleep. G'night everyone!


Anonymous said...

Hey Blake! I heard about your bike trip through a newspaper article. What you're doing is great! I was wondering if you might have some advice for someone looking to do a bike fundraiser? I've never planned one before and I'm pretty new to biking, but I would like to do a bike trip down the East coast in September to raise awareness about human trafficking in America. I'd love any advice you might have! My e-mail address is Keep up the great riding! -Nicole :-)

Anonymous said...

Blake don't like spider's and snakes!!!

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