Golden City, MO
First Christian Church
H:88, L:50, sunny, slight wind
I got up this morning to find our tent covered in dew from the outside and condensation from the inside! Thankfully, we were still dry!
While April squeezed in a few extra moments of precious sleep, I wandered down to the gas station/convenience store and found, to my delight, that they had pumpkin spice cappuccino! So, after using the restroom, I got myself a cup to sip on while the sun rose.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, the sun doesn't come up as early as it used to. In fact, it comes up so late that there is hardly any time for the tent to dry, so we've resorted to putting it in a garbage bag before putting it in the dry bag with my sleeping bag and sleeping pad (it has to go in the dry bag to fit on my bike). This seems to be a pretty workable solution so far, though setting up a soggy tent at night isn't very much fun.
Before we left we went back to the c-store to use the restroom and buy our daily ration of juice. Plus I wanted to take a picture of their gas storage tanks. They are mostly above ground tanks around here and these were painted to look like Pepsi cans.
With only a slight wind (finally!), we were making great time for the remaining miles to Girard. Suddenly April let out a kind of squawking/squeaking noise and yelled, "STOP!!"
Not sure what exactly had happened, I came to a stop and looked behind me to see...April with a fistful of her shirt held tightly in one hand, her other hand holding the brake.
"I think a wasp just flew down my shirt. And I think I got him right here," she said, gesturing with her fistful of shirt. Sure enough, she was right on both counts. After squeezing and grinding and rubbing the wad of shirt, she finally opened up her fist to reveal the very squished remains of a wasp!
Needless to say, we were very thankful that it hadn't been my shirt it had gone down (since I'm allergic to wasps) and that it hadn't stung April!
In Girard, we found a Subway, our new favorite place to eat out. You really can't beat a $5 footlong with fresh veggies. We each got one, but neither one of us was quite full after we'd eaten it all! Figuring we'd just eat more in Pittsburg, our last city in Kansas, we moved on.
There was pretty much nothing between Girard and Pittsburg. At one point we stopped to take a picture of a couple longhorns. As soon as we stopped, pretty much all of them ran over to the fence to check us out!
We were excited about Pittsburg for two reasons. One it was our last stop in Kansas, and we were ready for a new state. And two, there were two bike shops listed there and we need some more chamois cream and a helmet mirror for April!
When we rolled into Pittsburg, I spotted a Wendy's. We'd been wanting a frosty for a while, so we had our second lunch there: fries, junior deluxe, and a frosty...each. From there we headed to the first bike shop, only to find that it was closed on Mondays.
No worries, we'd just go to the second one. Except once we finally found it, we learned it was closed for good! Yet another bike shop disappointment. Boo!
We also want to find our souvenir pins and patches for our bags, but we weren't able to find those either. That means we've missed Colorado and now Kansas on our bags. Double boo!
On the way out of town, we stopped at a drug store to see if they by chance had chamois cream or some replacement. The pharmacist thought a minute and said, "I think we have some butt paste over there...Let's go take a look."
Hahaha. That doesn't even sound appealing...and unfortunately, they were out. But he did recommend some diaper cream, so April decided she wanted to give that a try. I'm still doing pretty good with baby powder.
Feeling full and...uh...refreshed, we were soon on our way out of Kansas and into Missouri. Even though eastern Kansas was anything but flat, Missouri was notably hillier. April was hoping that we would trade the wind in Kansas for the hills in Missouri, but some of it seemed to follow us across the state line.
Not too long after we crossed into Missouri we had our first real run in with dogs. A couple miles later we had another run in. Both times involved multiple dogs, and both times we stopped and looked at them and they stopped and looked at us. Then they lost interest and left and we continued on our way. The first time I came to such an abrupt stop that my handlebars twisted so they pointed down a little. I'll have to readjust them tonight.
We arrived in Golden City, MO, our destination for the day, around 4:30. Woo-hoo!! Lot's of time to catch up on stuff that needed catching up on and plenty of time to find a place to stay! Spying a grocery store, we headed in for some quick supplies.
The lady at the cash register mentioned that we should try Pastor David (yes, another pastor David) at the First Christian Church. As we pulled up to the church, who should we meet, but Pastor David on his way in. He said he thought it would probably be fine if we stayed in the gym there, but he wanted to check with some elders first.
He suggested that while he did the checking, we get something to eat or walk around a bit or maybe check out the park. So we decided to go back to the store and get a snack and walk to the park for a cool down.
Back at the store, we made a bee-line for the ice cream freezer. There were no pint size servings. Undaunted, we selected a 1.75 quart container of key-lime pie ice cream. We figured it was cheaper than dessert in a restaurant, and we'd just throw out whatever we didn't want. Right.
It had been pretty hot today and the key lime ice cream was perfect! About the time we reached the park, and had eaten half our ice cream, Pastor David pulled up behind us and said everything was a go! So we turned around and walked back to the store where we'd left our bikes.
Well, if you've been following our ridiculous calorie intake, you probably saw this coming, but by the time we got back to our bikes, we'd eaten the ice cream. All of it. And it was good! All of it. :-)
A lot of people we've run into on the trip who are "casual" cyclists say they bike so they can drink a lot of beer. We're pretty sure we bike so we can eat a lot of ice cream. To quote April, "We bike so we can eat lots of ice cream. Gobs of ice cream. Disgustingly enormous amounts of ice cream. At horrifically regular intervals!"
While we were getting back on our bikes a man walked up and said to April, "Are you the ones staying at the church?"
About that time another man walked out of the grocery store and said, "Are you the nice young couple spending the night at the church?"
"Uh...yes? Word sure travels fast around here. We just found out we were staying at the church!"
No sooner had April responded than a woman walked up from the street and said, "Are you guys the bikers staying at the church tonight?"
I think April's jaw may have hit the sidewalk. We were beginning to wonder if it was on giant billboard somewhere or something.
We arrived at the church and began setting up in the gym. Pastor David came by and we talked for a bit. It turns out he rides too and was familiar with the 'Hotter Than Hell Hundred' they run in Texas every year. He'd even tried it! He also said it was good that we were inside because it was supposed to rain tonight. He then began telling us where the safest places to go were in the event of severe weather.
A short time later two women came through the gym on their way out to their cars. They asked if we knew where the severe weather spots were and how to get there. Then the pastors wife, Bev, came over and brought us some cookies, bananas, and apples and she asked if we knew how to get to the safe spots. She also reassured us that if it got too bad, someone would come get us and show us how to get to the Baptist church because they had a basement.
By now we were wondering exactly what was on the radar. So we asked, "It's still just supposed to rain, right?"
"Oh yes, but you never know around here"
April tried to work on the blog some while I cooked dinner, but the wi-fi and cellular signals were both really weak and kept cutting out. Then it started to rain and we lost the signal all together. So she gave up and went to bed to the sound of rain on the roof. It rained pretty hard, but never anything more.
Even though we were staying inside, I set up the tent and rain fly so that it could dry out! By the time I was ready for bed the rain had all but stopped. Here's hoping tomorrow will be dry!