Today’s mileage: 60.2
Total mileage: 1,573.5
One of the things I love about this trip is the feeling of waking up and not having any clue about what the day has in store for you. Literally anything could happen.
Welp, I wonder what’s going to happen today.
I like to feel like I’ve got things under control, but sometimes I just don’t. I have no control over getting a flat, a chain breaking, bad weather, or getting lost. Well, maybe I have some control over getting lost. 😉 Things happen, and you have to just go with it and still give it 110%. There hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t given my all (I even gave my free day at home my all 😂).
And, honestly, it’s fun and pretty liberating.
This morning, I woke up at 5:30 to thunder rumbling in the distance. It sounded like someone was bowling up in the sky. I poked my head out of my tent and the sky was really pretty, but I could tell that it was about to storm. Here are some pictures without any filters added:
I quickly got out of my tent and tapped on Masherra’s tent (by the way, how cute are all of our little tiny tents set up on the little patch of grass?!). Masherra got out to look around and she noticed a rainbow way up in the clouds. It was neat to see the rainbow mixed in with the clouds and thunder and lightning.
Masherra decided to get back in her tent. I looked at the radar and it looked like it was about to monsoon. I had no desire to pack up my tent in a monsoon, so I reluctantly decided to go ahead and forego the extra sleep and I packed up my tent. I hate packing up a wet tent, and I also didn’t want to risk getting my down sleeping bag wet. They are extremely hard to dry.
I packed up my gear like Speedy Gonzales and walked my bike over to a pavilion. I sat at a picnic table as the storm rolled in. It wasn’t bad, but I was glad I didn’t have to worry about packing up a wet tent.
I sure was jealous of the other campers getting to sleep and listen to the rain pitter-pattering on their tents. One of my favorite things ever is laying in bed (or in your tent) listening to it storm. The concrete table I was sitting at wasn’t cutting it.
I looked up, and I saw two dogs trotting over to me. One was a German Shepherd puppy, Linda, and the other was some kind of huge wrinkle-faced dog…you know, the kind that slobber everywhere. His name was Lips.
Before I knew it, a man started talking to me about my trip. I was studying my maps while we were talking, but when I looked up at him, I noticed a little tiny furry thing on his shoulder…
My mouth immediately dropped open and I gasped. I was totally not expecting a man to walk up with a baby raccoon on his shoulder!!
He asked me if I wanted to hold him and I said YES!!!!!! His name was Squirrel.
I immediately texted Craig pictures of the zoo that was going on and he said, “What is happening?!” And I had no clue, but it was the best thing ever!
I sat and talked to the man for at least an hour. He has been riding his bike around and pulling Lips around in a trailer. Lips weighs 120 pounds. 😳He told me that he had found the baby raccoon on the side of the road crying for its mother, who didn’t make it. He took the raccoon with him and has had it ever since.
So, all before 6:30, my day had already been made. I’m telling you, you never know what the day holds!!
The rain started to clear off a bit, and by 9:45 we were pedaling. The terrain was gloriously flat.
Since we got a late start, lunch rolled around a lot quicker than normal, so we stopped at Sonic. It was a nice break to let the rain completely clear off.
The miles were going by fast today! On top of it being so flat, we also had a tailwind!! We were sometimes maintaining 17 mph! We had occasional hills that would slow us back down, but it was so nice to cover miles without working your tail off.
We usually hit about 35 or 36 going downhill, but we hit 20 mph on a straight away with the wind at our back, and then held it at 17 for a while. That’s probably a pretty average speed with a road bike, but it’s pretty awesome with a loaded touring bike!
As we neared the end of the day, Dex caught back up with us.
We rode and talked for about 10 miles and then he road ahead and said he would meet us in the next town.
I have an Instagram friend, Tony, who I have been keeping up with who started on the west cost. We knew we would probably meet in Kansas somewhere. We were finally able to meet and talk about what’s ahead, gear, etc.
Tony told us that from here on out that Kansas was about to get more and more remote and that it was the last town with services for a while. We also discovered the next bike camping spot down the road was run by a man who seemed a little odd, so we decided to stay in Chanute. We set up our tents where we could stake them down since there is a chance for storms, and let the bikes have the awning. 😉😆
Hoping the rain holds off tomorrow so we can knock out some more miles!