We rose from slumber and ate cereal that Carol put out for us as well as read a note wishing us a safe journey. We left a thank you note and departed Leoti. First stop was in Tribune, 28 miles later. The grocery store was open early – a good sign – and the main street was wired with speakers that all played the same country station. They were mounted on every light post or power pole so as you rode down the main drag you could keep listening to that delightful twang. I connected to a wireless network just outside the store, and found a power outlet so as not to drain the battery, it was a fine setup.
We ate our snacks and then geared up for 58 miles of no services. Fifteen miles later and we had crossed the state line into Colorado. It's been fun Kansas, see you next time. Took the obligatory self-timed photo and began riding again. Eastern Colorado is beautiful. The terrain is natural as opposed to agricultural fields or pump jacks. Scrub grass and small stands of wind-blown straw stretch as far as you can see. Metal track and railroad ties follow to the right and the whole place has a quiet, serene desolation. We had some more quiet riding, and another break or two and we were nearly into our destination for the day, Eads.
We escaped the majority of Kansas with only occasional trouble from the wind but never encountered that magical tailwind that'll drive you two hundred miles. We got it into Eads. Flat ground and we were pushing 24. Unfortunate that it only lasted for a minute or two but it was a beautiful matter of seconds. Either the road turned or the wind shifted and we dropped back down to a respectable 19. We got into Eads and met Greg, another touring cyclist. He and his group are riding in support of Alzheimer's research and visit nursing homes to play music for patients. Glad I don't have to carry an instrument as well. They've received donations from businesses to help them along the way and Greg invited us to his donated motel room.
We checked out the pool first, a bust, and then headed back to the Econo Lodge. We took showers and watched some mindless TV and swapped stories of our rides thus far. A bit later the rest of their crew showed up: Rachel, Amelia, and Kendall. We all hung out in the room and enjoyed each other's company. It was awesome. We haven't met a lot of riders our own age along the way, nor had circumstances work out to be able to leisurely meet new people. Most of our exchanges take place on the road and we trade a few words before continuing in opposite directions. It, as you may have gathered, has been a truly barren landscape with regard to the opposite sex. We tried to keep the eyes high when talking to Rachel and Amelia. I don't know if we were that successful. By this point it had gotten stormy and we were invited to all crowd in the room rather than get rained on in the park. The guy working the motel that night came by and asked if we all planned to sleep in there. “Umm, if that's OK...” “Why don't I just open up the room next door for you.” That was OK by us. New friends and a free motel room. We owe you guys, thanks a lot. We listened to one more story about a run-in with a bear and went to sleep inside.
And if you haven't gotten enough bicycle intrigue on this website you can check out theirs at theunforgettablejourney.blogspot.com
That's been the destination the whole time, right?
To the brewery!