The Sunflower State (45)

We woke early and assembled more items to send home before leaving the park.  This one is a big deal, because we finally made the leap to give up on cooking.  We also sent clothes and other miscellaneous items, which allowed Rachel to get rid of her rear bags!  I’m not sure if my bike got any lighter (I inherited her clothes and sleeping gear, but gave up some food and the cooking set), but it’s exciting to see such a significant change for her!

We rewarded ourselves for completing a century yesterday with breakfast and pie at Cooky’s Cafe in Golden City.  This was recommended by the TransAm racer we met yesterday in Ash Grove, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Rachel ordered chocolate chip pancakes,  sausage, and strawberry rhubarb pie, whereas I opted for an egg and sausage plate and cherry rhubarb pie!  What a breakfast!

It was 35 miles to Pittsburg. On the way, we crossed into Kansas!

In Pittsburg, we stopped at a bike shop, then ate lunch at Wendy’s and enjoyed the AC while planning the next few days in order to meet our goal of reaching Denver by Rachel’s birthday (July 11th).  Eventually, we stepped out of Wendy’s into the sweltering heat and saddled up for the final 25 miles of the day, to Walnut,  KS.

We took a few breaks during this segment to refuel and to rest in the shade.  At 6 PM we made it to the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Walnut, KS, where they leave the community center open for touring cyclists. It was air conditioned and felt like heaven! To top that off, they also had a kitchen full of food available to cyclists as long as it wasn’t marked otherwise (we even made s’mores, since they had all the components).  We resolved to get up very early the next morning in order to beat the heat, so we turned in around 9PM, sleeping with our pads on a carpeted floor.

Trip stats, to date (Day 45)

  • Golden City, MO to Walnut, KS
  • Daily mileage: 60.5mi;  Trip total to date: 2,752.4mi
  • Daily riding time: 4hr 36min;  Trip total time: 241hr 30min
  • Daily ascent: 629ft;  Trip total ascent: 146,044ft
  • Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0

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