Day 14 - Great Bend to Abilene
Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone! I am coming to you from Abilene Kansas, a town known for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum and it's Greyhound production (dogs, not the buses, as I recently found out). It's a nice little town with a population of just under 7,000 people. Like a lot of these smaller towns in Kansas, Abilene has farmland surrounding it as far as the eye can see. A lot of crops of wheat and corn dominate the countryside. It's nice to see the change from the dry deserts in New Mexico and Texas.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we have left the days of 80 mile rides behind us, and took on 129 miles today. Luckily the terrain was mostly flat, although it took an awfully long time for the day to warm up. Once again Ralph and I bundled up in our cold gear as we headed out back onto the road at 7:30 this morning. It was great to see my dad recovered from yesterday's brutal conditions. He seemed to be in high spirits as he got back into the saddle and we spent most of the day together on the ride.
There were a few occasions when I was feeling pretty good and went off on my own to push a little harder than usual with some sprinting sessions. I can tell that my legs are getting stronger with every passing day. Without the head winds to hold me back I felt like I was going at a pretty strong pace on those solo runs when I felt like stretching my leg muscles.
Hard to believe that it's only been two weeks since we first started this ride, I feel like I've been traveling the country for ages now. I guess that's what happens when you're sleeping in a different bed in a different part of the country every night.
One of the peculiar things about today's ride was the humidity. Back in the western part of the country, it can be so dry that the sweat literally evaporates as soon as it starts to form on your skin. I remember how traveling through the deserts for the first few days at the end of each ride we would have all these rings of dried sweat covering our jerseys and headbands. It was the first time I've ever seen anything like that and I have to say it was a little bit of a surprise.
But not only did the day start off chilly, it also had that nagging humidity that really let the cold air soak into your very bones. At each stop we tried to move around as much as possible while refilling our water bottles and snacking on granola bars. If you stood still long enough the heat would leech right out of your body and you'd be left shivering in the overcast morning.
Tomorrow we will be heading to Topeka about 109 miles away. Hopefully I will have a little more time to do some more in-depth description of the journey so far, you can expect a video of my dad and I as we recap the past few days, I know my dad is pretty happy with our progress so far. As he likes to say, "we're not getting points for style, but it finishing the day that counts."