Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 29: Rest Day in Hutchinson, KS (0 Miles)

Sleeping in can be delightful. I slept until 8:30-ish and felt well rested and ready for the day of non-riding. Well, that's not all true. I had to ride from the shop (where the mechanics did a poor job of “fixing” my bike, but I'll get into that later) to the post office to pick up my new ATM/Debit card. My dad had mailed it “General Delivery” and I called beforehand to make sure they had the package. When I arrived, a confident USPS worker walked back into the stock room and emerged a minute later saying “there's no mail under that name, sorry!” I then explained that I had just called and they told me the package was there. He then walked back for another minute and emerged with a box containing my sole lifeline to American currency. After activating the card at the nearest ATM and destroying my temporary card, I rode over to meet the guys at a local diner for breakfast. I had a good time watching the waiter attempt to understand Callum's odd requests and then we took off to the Hutchinson Cosmosphere.

At first glance, the museum was not much to look at. However, we soon realized that they had quite an extensive museum stocked full of interesting information/artifacts. The planetarium show lulled a few of us to sleep, but the OMNIMAX presentation of “Beavers: The Biggest Dam Movie You'll Ever See” was beyond fantastic. Beavers are very impressive creatures and I emerged with a new level of respect for these resilient engineers of the wild. We also took part of a fun little lab experiment show called “Dr. Goddard's Laboratory.” It was rather boring save for a few small explosions. I left the museum a little early to make some phone calls and catch up with some friends. It's great to hear familiar voices and share stories with them. I feel like I've always had great appreciation for my friends and loved ones, and this trip only bolsters that sentiment.

After chatting on the phone for a bit, I rode over to the laundromat to give my stinking clothes a good soaking. Dowds and I watched some crappy local television as Chris did some math while looking at the maps. He did a rough estimate that I need to average at least 70 miles a day for me to make my deadline. I'm hoping this won't be a problem; however, I do want to spend a rest day with family in Colorado Springs and that will most likely decline my average. I might as well try to make the most out of these flat terrains while I can... let's just hope there's not a lot of wind holding me back! I am a little worried about my crank/bottom bracket, though. I told the guys to fix the clanking/shifting sound of what appears to be the front cassette slowly breaking... but they said they found nothing wrong with it. I'm assuming it only occurs when the bike is fully loaded, so here's hoping that I can make it to another shop in Pueblo, CO without any significant problems.

After laundry, we decided we wanted some Italian food... so we shuffled into this very nice restaurant, looking like four smelly, unkempt drifters. We raised a few eyebrows, but we could have cared less as we gorged ourselves on fine Italian eatery. We were surrounded by two large tables full of middle aged women asking us questions and making all sorts of high-pitched sounds. It was quite the evening. I'm debating sleeping in and going with the guys to the post office at 7:30 or leaving early... I'm assuming the temptation of sleeping for another few hours will most likely win me over.

P.S. My netbook has been acting strange and has been importing only some of my photos... so, sadly, I'm not able to share with you all that I can/want to (I only realize this after deleting the photos from my flash card). I'll try to be more diligent in figuring out the source of this problem.


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