Hot Bunny - Tribune - 8/16/2006

This morning, we slept in because last night I requested to sleep in since we only had 46 miles to go today and I wanted to rest.  It's very interesting how an estimated ride of 46 miles is considered a short ride.

The hostel where we stayed at was also a tanning salon so it had some cute stickers (presumably to put on your body before going into the tanning bed so when you're done tanning, you can have an untanned mark of that sticker).  I "borrowed" a sticker that said, "HOT" and one that was a bunny.  I put them on the front of my thighs.  I took pictures but they didn't turn out well.  Probably because of my man legs.  So no picture for you.  Instead, here's a picture of a farmhouse in the fog.

Here's a harsh reality of life.  A feed lot.  This is where cows spend their last days of their lives just eating and eating and eating.  It's quite sad when you see this.  The cows roaming on the fields eating grass don't know how good they have it (for the time being).  These cows were so cute.  They'd stand there looking at me.  Then, 30 seconds later, they'd all run away in a stampede.  Then, they'd all slowly walk back and look at me.  Then, repeat this process.  Wonder why they're doing this.  Morning exercises?

Gee, thanks for reminding me that the wind is smacking me in the face (below road sign).  We had strong crosswinds today, coming from the South (we're traveling West).  I suppose it's better than a strong headwind.  I've noticed that with these 18-wheeler tanker trucks, when they pass on the other side of the road, the wind that they produce is so strong that it seriously gives us a little shove where we stop for a about a second.  Something about the aerodynamics of these trucks that does that as compared to other trucks.  Sure, the other 18-wheelers produce a strong wind, too, but something about these tanker trucks that the wind stops us more than the regular 18-wheelers.  Very weird.  It's come to the point when I see a tanker truck, I start bracing myself.

We arrived at a motel restaurant around noon-ish.  They had just finished serving breakfast.  We were hungry for breakfast food, not lunch food.  So, I begged the waitress if she'd still serve us braekfast (we were only a few minutes late).  "Please, please, please, please..." I believe is how the begging went.  The waitress asked the cook and s/he said okay to breakfast, just not biscuits and gravy.  Alright by me!

While talking to the waitress some more, somehow the topic of housing came up.  I immediately used this opportunity to ask her if she knew anyone in Tribune, Kansas (our ending destination for today).  She said her parents lived there, but I don't remember how she dodged asking her parents to house us.  She, instead, gave us the name and number of a doctor and wife who ran a guest house.  It was funny, when she gave us the number, she literally just gave us 4 digits.  The three of us were a bit confused as to why a phone number was only 4 digits.  Basically, the town is so small, all phone numbers start with the same 3 digit prefix and all you ever have to give out for your phone number is the last 4 digits.  Too funny.

Here we are entering Mountain Time Zone.  I'm pointing to my watch and Hersh is estatic.

While riding, I had to pee badly.  Instead of doing it in nature, I like to knock on people's doors (of the people's doors I've knocked on, I've always been allowed bathroom access).  Since we were in the middle of nowhere, there were no people to knock on their doors.  Instead, I saw life at this one farm/factory.  I asked the guy out front shoveling stuff and he allowed me access into the office/bathroom.  Ahhh.  Afterward, I talked to him and two other co-workers about my trip.  I noticed he was looking at my "man" (or "She's Got Legs") legs and I was thinking, "look at my eyes when you're talking to me, dude."  Then I realized that I had the HOT and bunny stickers on my thighs.  Hehe.

Here are some wild sunflower-type flowers along the side of the road.  After I took this picture, I realized this is exactly the same picture that Adventure Cycling has on their Kansas map.  For each map Adventure Cycling puts out, on the back side of the map, they give a blurb about the towns we're hitting, what they're known for, etc.  They also publish pictures of stuff we'll see on this section of the map.  This picture of the sunflower is the same picture they have on their maps.  Cool, eh?  Actually in their picture, there's a cyclist on the other side of the road.  Perhaps I will get Dave to take a picture of me like that - we'll put Dave and a PHD (push here dummy) camera to the test.

When we arrived in Tribune, we called the doctor and his wife about the guest house but they said they already rented it out to a different set of cyclists and they only rent to one party at a time.  Bummer, had I known, I would have called at breakfast.  We checked out the only motel in town but everyone told us it was a flea dump.  It didn't look that bad at all, but Hersh checked out the sheets and mattress and found bed bugs.  Gross.  I've never looked at any other sheets and mattresses before checking into a motel, but I've never been warned by that many people that the motel was a dump.

Our other alternative was a motel 2 miles down the road, but who knows what condition that was in.  So, Hersh and I got lunch at a grocery store while Dave went scouting around town for alternative housing.  Eventually Dave came back with a housing option for us at a church.  When we went to the church, the pastor led us to the elementary school where he asked the principal if we could stay in the gym.  This option was more spacious, not to mention a shower.

With our housing secure, I headed to the library where I was delighted to find out that it was opened until 8:00pm that night (only night in the week it was open that late).  All the other days, the library closed in the early afternoon.  What a bonus that I was in Tribune on the right night.

After Internetting for a few hours, I went back to the school where I took another Carrie-like shower in the gym showers.  Afterward, I made dinner of pasta, tuna, corn, spinach and probably other veggies for the two Daves and me.

After dinner, Hersh noticed I had a flat tire.  Weirdness, it must have been a slow leak.  It sucks because earlier in the day, Hersh pointed out goatheads to me.  Goatheads are these prinkly little buds along the grass/weeds along the side of the highway.  I was sure I was careful not to push my bike on the grass where I suspected goatheads, but I guess one still attached itself to my tire at one point.  Darn.  At least we noticed it during non-riding time so we didn't lose any daylight fixing the flat.  This was flat #2 for me.  Pretty good considering we've gone over 2000 miles.  So, that's an average of one flat per 1000 miles for me.  Great, that means I'm due for 2 more to finish this trip.