Nathan got up before I did this morning and discovered that something had marked our tent last night. Yup..we had pee on the side of the tent. We're not sure what did it, but we assume it was the kitty. Maybe he was mad at us for not feeing him meatballs.
I was still sleeping soundly in the tent...but not for long. All of the sudden, a loud and boisterous drum cadence started, and it sounded like the drums were right outside the tent!! It turns out the local marching band held morning practices, and they were starting right now.
So, since I wasn't going back to sleep, I got up, and there was a beautiful sunrise coming up over the pond and the gazebo. We took a picture, and I videoed the marching band a little. Then, since the bathrooms had no toilet paper, we quickly ate breakfast, packed up, and went into town to take care of our..uh..business. :-)
Before we left, we wanted to take advantage of the park's beautiful scenery and make a video to thank one of our supporters: Troy Salmon! Thanks so much Troy!!
Today, we had a nice, light wind. When we looked at the weather, it said we should have a Southeast wind, but instead the wind was coming from the SouthWEST. Joy! A light wind, AND it was sort-of a tailwind!! Here's what the road looked like today. Similar to other days, it just goes on forever and ever into the distance.
20 miles out, we came to a town called Heston. We were hungry, but decided to wait for the next town to eat a real meal, so we just ate a snack and moved on. In Heston though, I saw a pizzeria, and I started getting hungry for pizza. After 12 more miles, we made it to Newton. We decided to take a shortcut, because we could shave 2 miles off and only go 10, but our shortcut turned us right into the wind, and all of the sudden, our light wind became a super gusty, strong wind! Ah! We were both stunned!
When we made it to Newton, we were pretty excited because 1)it had a bike store and we were in NEED of chamois cream, and 2)it was a big town, so it probably had lots of restaurant options. We stopped at a gas station to ask directions to the bike store, and they said it was CLOSED! Nooooo. I felt like telling them, "You don't understand. I NEED chamois cream! I'm out!". But they did say there was a Pizza Hut here. That was exciting news, because I had a major hankering for pizza by now.
I went out to tell Nathan the news about the bike store and the Pizza Hut. I was pretty bummed we couldn't get any chamois cream, but Nathan said that we could just get baby powder instead. He had used some the other day, and he said it worked really well, so it would be a great substitute for chamois cream. I didn't really understand how power and cream could be the same, but I said OK.
We went to the Pizza Hut for lunch, and then we were going to go to the store to get baby power and everything else afterwards. Food always gets first priority.
We got to Pizza Hut around 12:50, and the waitress told us the buffet closed at 1:00, but they would keep bringing pizza out for a while afterwards. Phew! In the next 10 minutes, 4 other tables also came in and ordered the buffet!
Nathan and I ate warm, cheesy pizza to our hearts content. We think we each ate at least a whole pizza! At one point, a man came over and asked about our trip. He told us he had a friend who housed bikers if we needed a place to stay. We thanked him, but told him we still wanted to go another 40 miles today, so we didn't need a place to stay in Newton.
When we were FINALLY done eating, I'm sure the Pizza Hut manager breathed a sign of relief! We went to pay, and the cashier told us the table next to us had paid our bill! How nice! We were so amazed and so happy! The table next to us didn't say anything to us before they left, and they were gone by the time we finished, so we didn't even get to say thanks. That was a bummer, but it was great to receive their kindness.
Walmart was our next stop so we could get some groceries and baby powder. While Nathan was shopping, I discovered an excellent way to show you how windy it is today: an American flag. Check this puppy out!
When Nathan came back, he had all of our groceries plus two more things that wasn't on the list: candy bars. He finally found one that he's been looking for - Snickers Fudge. On the trip, Nathan has started to become a bit of a candy bar aficionado. He came out and showed me his Snickers Fudge like it was buried treasure! He also got a "Thingamajig". I had never heard of it. He told me it was a limited edition candy bar. Oooooh.
After our enormous meal of pizza, we entered a 38 mile stretch of absolutely nothing. I did OK for 5 or 6 miles, and then something like exhaustion set in, and I started yawning and feeling tired and sleepy. Maybe it was the pizza. Maybe it was the high number of miles we'd been doing daily in the wind. It was probably both. We made a video at one stop to show you the flat nothingness that is Kansas. I know you want to see a video of nothingness...
We stopped every 10 miles for a break and talked about how much more difficult the plains had been than we were expecting them to be. We agreed that one thing that really proved how tough the plains have been is the incredible amount of food we've eaten over the past few days. We each had footlong subs for dinner one night, footlong subs for breakfast the next day, a whole bag of frozen meatballs for dinner, at least 2 pizzas worth of pizza for lunch, and lots and lots of other little snacks in between! We never could've eaten such big meals consecutively before. Our bodies seem to be burning through calories like wildfire!
At one rest break, we both put baby powder on. It was my first time to try it. As soon as we started biking again, I realized I didn't like it. Instead of feeling like a "well oiled machine" like I did with the chamois cream, I felt dry and almost scratchy now! I told Nathan baby powder was nothing like chamois cream. He said, "Well, for me it is."
*Disclaimer: Potentially gross, TMI-type information ahead. If you're not interested in learning more about baby powder Vs. chamois cream, skip to the next asterisk.
I said, "This feels like it's drying me out!", and he said, "It's supposed to.".
Stunned, I asked him, "How is that the same as chamois cream?! I don't think I like this at all."
And he went into a description of how you need chamois cream to stop the chaffing when you're sweaty. But then he said that if you can keep dry, then you never chafe, and powder helps keep you dry. Then he gave me an analogy to illustrate his point. He said, "It's like when you put flour on your hands when you're making cookies so the dough doesn't stick to them. The baby powder is the flour and your butt is the dough."
Now it was all a very serious conversation for me (chafing is a big deal on the road)...until he said that bit about flour and dough. Now all I could picture was a big cookie dough butt (chocolate chip, specifically), and Nathan putting baby powder on it!
After talking, and debating, and laughing, we ended up deciding that powder dries me out too much and chamois cream doesn't allow Nathan to dry out enough, so he needs powder and I need cream.
Ahhhh, the little things.
He suggested I try petroleum jelly because we can't find a bike store, so now I'm on the lookout for some petroleum jelly!
*Ok, I'm done writing about gross things now.
Our baby powder Vs. chamois cream conversation/debate helped the last 10 miles go by pretty fast, and before we knew it, we were at Cassoday, the Prairie Chicken capital of the WORLD!
Cassoday is very small, and as we came into town, we saw a sign that said "Park Cycles" with an arrow pointing into a small and questionable field that had no bathrooms or amenities of any kind. After a little bit of looking, we found the actual city park, and this one had bathrooms! Yay! But there was a big spider in the women's bathroom, and they were both pretty dirty and unfriendly looking...so this park wasn't actually much of an improvement over the park with no bathrooms.
We were pretty close to a gas station though, so we went over there to use their bathrooms and get some snacks.
There was a small crowd in the gas station, and they were very curious about our trip. As I talked, they asked lots of questions. It was great! I love when people are curious about our trip and ask lots of questions! When we left, one of the local cats had decided to make himself at home and lay down right between our bikes!
Back at the park, Nathan and I were still feeling kind-of full from our huge pizza lunch, so we just ate some snacks, and a peanut butter/honey/nuts/berries bagel for dinner. Then, while Nathan worked on the blog, I set up the tent. This is the 2nd time I've set it up by myself in the dark! I put it in front of the swing set in the park and felt happy that we were sleeping by the toys. :-)