Day 39. Lyons KS. | End: La Crosse KS. | Mileage 2071.2
Just about to finish with the days post… the sorry excuse for a phone dies. Losing all the information I just typed… all the paragraphs constructed with this little touch screen phone, I am livid. Sure if I had a computer, a few moments would put me back to were I left off but no. It never seems to amaze me when one thing goes wrong, more will follow. Now the rain comes down… not my night. I will repost tomorrow around noon.
The morning always seems to come too early. One of the worst nights I have had yet. As the sun set the clouds moved in, cooling the scorched earth before night fell. The wind picked up and all I could do is arm myself with my raincoat and towel. Putting my right leg into a sleeve followed by the left, I managed to turn my coat into a makeshift pair of pants. My legs fine, I turn to the towel and used it as a blanket. As I role over I find Dirk fast asleep in his sleeping bag, one that has not been used until this very night. With a bit of jealousy I rolled back the other way and got through the night.
Waking up to a siege of mosquitoes on our tent, my first action was to grab the Off spray and bathe in it. Swarms so thick at times, you could wave your hand and hit about 15 of them throughout the stroke. Like Dirk said, “west of the Florida border… everything seems to bite” and they get me first.
After another visit to our favorite restaurant for some breakfast, we hit the road. Today must have not been our day. The wind shifted completely during the night and now was coming from the north. Like a cruel kid with a magnifying glass, both the wind and the sun were killing us. It does not help when the traffic becomes another element we have to face. As highway 96 drives us west, fleets of trucks made their way in and out of town. Some give you a mile while others barely give you an inch as they speed by. Some wind from the passing trucks are so powerful… if we were not paying attention, I would be put of my ass on on the shoulder. We pass town after town while venturing deeper into the countryside. Some so small we would mistake them for farms while others would seem missing, only a sign posted would notify us of their existence.
I have never seen so much land, endless fields and wind that just swept through with grace. My eyes were busy taking in the hills and landscape, deaf from the wind and dazed from the heat. As we rounded the top of the seven hills, we stopped for some water in a small town. Cruising all the way into town, we took a dirt road into a grain elevator complex, the only sign of life in town. Gratefully we were able to fill our bottles and make it to the next town. Again we faced a desolate landscape, a town with is handful of buildings, most of which were closed. Tired of the route American Cycling Association plotted for this state, we made an executive decision and said fuck that. If we made it all the way here without their map, why use them now? We shall press on again by instinct. Pulling into the small town of La Crosse, one who’s size was four times that of any other we encountered today, we set up camp in the city park. Rest for the day to come.