We slept great last night, and that's kind-of rare. I just can't quite get used to sleeping in a mummy bag every night, and Nathan says the ground isn't as comfortable as it was when he was 10 years old. So sleeping great was a big deal. And we slept in, too - even better!
When we finally got up, we poked around the campsite for a while with Bob, Gene, and their friend Dottie who was also going to be camping with us (the campsite was turning into a tent city!), and then we went off to the pancake breakfast. It was $5, all-you-can-eat pancakes. The record was 72, and as soon as Nathan and I got there, people started egging us on to beat the record. Every time we'd go up for more, someone would ask if we were going for the record. We decided that we wanted to enjoy our rest day, not feel sick, so we didn't try for the record.
The pancake company served their pancakes in a really fun way: they flipped them to you from the griddle about 10 or 14 feet away, and you had to catch them on your plate! There was normally a lady who made and flipped the pancakes, and she'd flip them to you one at a time, but one time when Nathan went up, there was a guy behind the griddle, and he flipped Nathan 4 pancakes at one time!! In the end, 1 ate 12 pancakes and 2 sausage links. Nathan however ate 16 pancakes and 14 sausage links! Sheesh-o!
*pancake flipping video coming soon!*
After feeling happy and full, Nathan went to work on the computer in the pavilion, and I went to do something I haven't done yet on this trip: I took a NAP!!! (I did take one nap earlier, but it's because I felt sick. I haven't done it yet just because I wanted to, so this was my first real, free-time nap, and I LOVE naps!) I remember in my dreams I was starting to get really hot and I was talking with the people in my dreams about how hot it was...then I woke up, and I was sweating. Our tent was in the sun, and it was quickly turning into a little oven! I thought that was funny.
Bob and Gene were kayaking and windsurfing, enjoying their afternoon on the lake with the Canoeing and Kayaking Association. After my fabulous nap, Nathan and I tried to go find them so we could kayak a bit. They were giving kayaking tours of a new water route. We tried three times, but we never could find them or a spare kayak to use. Bummer.
So we walked around all the booths that were set up by the lake. There were some booths the police had that were interactive and they were all very safety oriented. They had a jet ski on a trailer that you could sit on and steer as you watched a video, but before you could get on, you had to put on a life jacket and you had to loop the key chain around your wrist (in case you fell off..uh huh). I thought it looked kind-of lame, but there were lots of little kids lined up for it.
Their other interactive exhibit was called "The Convincer", and I thought it looked pretty cool. You sat in this chair and strapped yourself in with a seatbelt. The chair was at the top of a ramp that ended in a steel wall "dead end". They let the chair go, and it would slide really fast down the ramp towards the steel wall, then stop JUST BEFORE it hit. Your seat belt would 'save' you. A bunch of teenagers and adults were lined up for this one. It looked like it probably got your adrenaline up.
Then there were lots of different food vendors, lots of people dressed up in old west clothes or Indian garb, a snake exhibit with a bunch of different live, local snakes in cages, lots of games to play, and also face painting. I had my face painted - I got a snake. I was the only 'big kid' in line for the face painting. (In the picture of me sitting in the chair, you can see some of my 'awesome' tan lines on my legs. Ei-yie-yie..)
It was super windy today, and while we were walking around, it just blew and blew. I was having a good time at the celebration, but part of me was getting pretty irritated that the wind was blowing so hard and it wouldn't stop. I told Nathan that I think I've been traumatized by the wind; I can't even deal with it on days that I DON'T bike anymore.
In the early afternoon, we found a laundry room in the middle of the celebration. That was great, because our clothes were practically alive they were so gross. When we went in to look around, we found out that it was being used as the staging area for tonight's big feast! There were boxes, and crock pots, and tables all over. There were also two women inside who were protective of the evening's food. They said we couldn't use the laundry facilities here - we'd have to wait until Monday - and there weren't any other ones to use either. So we told them about our trip and that our clothes were really, really gross, and we asked if we could pretty-please use the laundry, and they said 'yes'! Yay!
So we started laundry, blogging, and general bike maintenance. Besides eating, our chores took up most of the rest of the afternoon. I sat in the pavilion working on the computer, and there were all these little kids in there playing. They had balloons and whistles, and they blew their whistles and took their balloons on 'walks' for HOURS. It was kind-of cute..until they started having whistle blowing contests, and then all I could hear was the "EEEEEEEEEE!!!" of their whistles. The contests continued until one of them farted. And then everything stopped, and all they could do was talk about 'who was it?' and giggle. Then, some of the adults nearby even started talking about farting. They had a big discussion about the best kinds of wind to fart in. That was pretty funny!
A little while after Nathan came back from tuning up the bikes, it was dinner time. They had free, all-you-can-eat elk and buffalo burgers, baked beans, chips, and drinks. Nathan ate three burgers, and I ate two. There was a local Boy Scout troop camping there that weekend, and they surprised everyone with Dutch Oven desserts! They made peach and cherry cobbler in these big cast iron skillets. It was delicious!
While we were eating, a young boy started digging through the trash. Nathan and I were watching wondering what he was looking for when his dad came over and started digging through the trash too! It turns out the mom had accidentally thrown away her retainer. I went over to see if I could help, and someone took a picture of me talking with the dad. We looked over, and they guy who took the picture said he was from the local paper and that picture was definitely going in the news! Ha!
A little while later, the man found the retainer, and everyone around cheered and clapped. :-)
Then the band started. They are from Nashville, and they are called David Oakleaf And The Open Road. They were pretty good, and it was cool to be watching them under a big tent in Toronto, KS celebrating the lake's 50th birthday with the Boy Scouts, the Canoeing and Kayaking Association, and a few hundred other local people.
We had a few visitors while the concert was going on. One lady came over and asked if I was a writer (I had been on the computer for hours under the tent). She said she knew a writer, and his name was Ralph. Then she just looked at me expectantly, waiting to see if I also knew "Ralph". I wanted to laugh, but I just said that I didn't know him. Then I started explaining about our trip and how we keep a blog, but as soon as I said I wasn't a writer, she didn't really seem interested in what I was doing anymore.
Another guy came over who was a biker. He told us he used to be a jailer, but "the inmates just don't have any respect for anyone now. I didn't like my job anymore..so I quit." Now he's retired, and he likes to travel with his wife and ride his bike around. He said that a friend of his picked up a biker on the road the other day and gave him a ride to a city East of us called Iola. He said the biker was walking his bike, had no food or water, looked worn out, and was a long way from anywhere to get help.
Nathan thought for a bit and asked if the man was foreign and older. The ex-jailer said yes. Together, we figured out that it was David, a biker from Malaysia we'd met earlier on our trip! We first saw David at the Adventure Cycling Association in Missoula, MT (Day 29 of our trip). Then we met him on the road on day 42, on our way to Lander, WY, and we wrote about him in our blog.
He's retired, slightly overweight, and he loves to bike. He told us he'd been getting food and rides from people all the time on his trip. We weren't sure how he was getting so much help, because even though we'd gotten help, he seemed to have had WAY more people offering him things than we had. We passed him and rode on ahead of him because he was going pretty slowly, and all day we joked about how he was probably in a car somewhere passing us up. Well, 20 days later, here we are in Toronto, KS, and we just found out he's ahead of us in a town called Iola, because he got a ride!! We laughed and couldn't believe it.
After the concert was over, we took our now-clean clothes and headed back to camp. After repacking a bit, we're ready for bed. Rest day's always go by too quickly..