Track My Progress - See My Trip Map
Why am I doing this?
credits to Justin Bond of Star Talent Events for the audio.
Thanks for stopping in! This summer, I'll be biking 2500 miles from San Francisco to Gibson City, IL to raise $4000 for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the Ford County Youth Soccer Club. My route map.
There are so many reasons. As a youngster growing up in central Illinois, playing soccer, as rare as it was for the area, was an activity that really shaped me into the person I am today. Not only combining the importance of fitness and teamwork, but also leadership and discipline. I have always wanted to have the opportunity to give back to this organization (FCYSC), and I feel that this is my chance.
Living just outside of Gibson City causes every child to be an avid cyclist to survive that stretch of Route 9 to make it into town. As I've progressed into my current career as an urban planner, I realize how much of an impact cycling can make in certain parts of the United States, in reducing our dependence on vehicles, increasing our health, among other benefits. Atlanta is the place that re-energized my spirit for transportation planning and I hope to be able to return some gratitude to the ABC, a cause that I still feel has an uphill battle in that town.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Monday, September 14, 2009
So here it is.... the bike and the trailer in its entirety. 146 pounds and at the cost of a couple of tanks of gas.... these little guys are on their way back to Oakland, CA (hopefully in one piece)
Of course the primary purpose of the ride was to raise funds for the ABC and the FCYSC, but also, it was to be able to see one of my longtime friends Amy get married. They had a beautiful ceremony in the fields outside of Forrest, IL. Right afterwards, (literally 5 minutes, they walked over to the gun range to show their prowess at sharpshooting clay piegons.
Catherine flew in the night before to join me. Naturally, she was so supportive of me through this whole trip and I owe plenty to her for her patience and keeping me going through much of the trip! Here I am introducing her to corn.
Yesterday, I flew out of the fields of Illinois from Bloomington's airport around 10AM, went the absolute wrong direction for about 2 hours (to Atlanta), then caught my second flight westward towards San Francisco.
I've never really had many contemplative thoughts on an airplane before, but it is strange looking out the window for a total of 8 hours and think to myself... wow, I was down there someplace, experiencing all of the people, cultures, and landscapes of what there is... and most of the people around me may not even know its down there. When I first left Bloomington, I could see Funk's Grove and the roads that I took that led me eventually to Heyworth. It was pretty awesome to see it from the air, and again imagining myself down there at that intersection taking pictures with the signs before heading down an infinite country road eastward, which from the air looked like a simple stroll.
Much of the rest of the flight was uneventful. Unfortunately, there was cloudcover and rain for much of the flight. Which again, made me so very thankful that the weather I had was good and that I didn't get stuck under rainy conditions. I arrived back at SFO to be greeted by Michelle and Chris, two good friends from school that had been using my car while I was gone. Surprisingly, it was raining a bit in San Francisco and the East Bay.... which of course is unheard of for most of the year. But finally, I arrived back at the Convent (the name of my old place), and got settled in my room. This adventure is over, but as the song says "every new beginning is another beginning's end."
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So by reading this blog, you have been given access to a limited number of photos that have been pre-screened by me for quality and for images that instill that the trip is wonderful, happy, and fun. However, there are plenty of other photos (and video) that truly reflect the ride in its entirety. Those are all now available online on my flickr page here.
I hope that you enjoy these and please share them responsibly! (meaning, please don't embarrass me too much). These of course include, the sequence of dud jump photos that led up to the jumping photos that I often posted.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Also, a big thank you to everyone that was able to make it out today. This brings the grand fundraising total to approximately $5700. In other news, t-shirts will be ordered tonight and should be ready by Friday. Information about distribution will be available at that time.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Ford County Youth Soccer Club - $2764.00
Atlanta Bike Campaign - $1954.00
So.. The FCYSC has charged ahead in terms of funds raised. However, it's not over yet!
Update: I'll be camping near the fairgrounds (orange round watertower)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
After 40 days out on the road, I've finally made it to recognizable parts of Illinois. It was a pretty comfortable ride today around 75 miles from Havana to Heyworth. If you look at a map, you'll notice that US 136 runs directly between the two places (and I mean DIRECTLY), but unfortunately for me, busy roads with lots of trucks aren't a fun place to ride a bike with a big yellow bag behind it. So, it was mainly back country roads for me. For most of this trip, it's been funny because people will try to tell you the best way to go from point A to point B. Granted, their being nice and their intensions are good, but I don't know how many times people just tell me to jump on interstate whatever and head straight there. I think people forget that I'm on a bike and don't envision themselves on their huffy cruising down the highway.
But anyway, today was again, pretty uneventful. I saw some rather pretty country in and around Havana and I stopped for a quick lunch in Delevan, IL. After all that was said and done, I hopped on old Route 66 near McLean, IL to make the final run to my final stop in Heyworth. As a side note, I wanted to get your opinion on this. I was thinking it would be a sweet coffee table book to have ....drum roll... a photo book of post offices around the United States.... what do you think? Something about having a consistent theme of the post office with the different architecture styles of post offices around the country.... i think it would be a hit.. maybe. Once I get back to Berkeley, I'll be sure to post all of the pictures of post offices that I took on the trip (I think I took about 30-40 of yes, post offices)
Now that I've made it all the way here, it's really bizarre being back via my bike. I'm now running into towns that I haven't visited since high school, and even then it was by school bus or by car. Once I made it to Heyworth, I was reunited with my high school friend Matt and his fiance Shawna. They have an awesome new house here in town and I may be their first guest, quite an honor!
For dinner, we ventured up to Bloomington for a dinner with some old high school friends. It was great to catch up with them and see how they were doing (with their newly born children might I add!)
Tomorrow, I'll be riding my final day of any serious length... to Fisher, IL, where I played soccer as a younger guy in high school. I think it'll be around 50 miles or so, but it's a bit sad for the trip to be near its end. I think the strangest part will be riding into Gibson on Saturday (by the way, I'm arriving on Saturday now), and then trying to figure out what to do/where to go next. Most of this trip has been mentally fueled by this concept of getting there. There being Gibson City of course. But when I arrive, I imagine I'll feel at a bit of a loss with what to do with myself.
Once I get to town, I'll have about a week so I am thinking about taking advantage of the opportunity to do some biking around Ford County. As weird as that sounds, I think it'll be pretty nice to get some pictures and just revisit some places near where I grew up.
By the way, in case what you're wondering what I look like with way less hair than a few days ago, heres a photo with my sister and her husband Sam.... They headed back to West Layfayette this morning after a great trip through Western Illinois and Missouri! Thanks to them both and for their support (and awesome support shirts). I will say however, having a bit less hair has helped the ventilation in my helmet!
So as another aside, people often ask... what do you think about when you're riding? That's a good question. Some days, I really don't think about much... if you can imagine those animations of men's brains where it's literally a blank slate. Well there you have it. Yet, I think cycling is pretty mind-consuming. You have plenty to contend with, thinking about how fast you're going, keeping your balance, avoiding traffic, trying to look cool in spandex... that's alot to think about. There have been plenty of days when hours go by and miles melt away and I have nothing mentally to show for it. However, after being on the bike for so many days, I think I've gotten a bit better and multi-tasking. So I often have little mental debates (with myself of course) on a number of thought-provoking issues such as the health care debate, gay marriage, or what cows think about when I pass them and they stare at me. This is what keeps me occupied for most of the day. Actually, I thought it would be good for me to keep mental notes of some of this stuff, so I actually bought a little voice recorder when in Montrose, CO so I could keep notes (it's hard to write when you have two hands on the handlebars)... However, like many people, I cringe at the sound of my own voice.. so I've yet to listen to the notes, maybe I'll do that when I arrive to Gibson and don't have much else to do.
Ok, those are my random thoughts for the evening. Hope all is well and ride safely.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
So eventually after Cuba, I eventually landed in Havana (I couldn't find Pyongyang, IL), I got in a bit early so I thought it would be nice to go around and explore this little town which is about the same size as Gibson City. Nice little town with a bustling downtown and a riverfront park.
So I've been needing a haircut for about the past 3 weeks (of this 5 week trip) and I found my opportunity today downtown when I saw the local barber pole. I walked in and explained my situation and told the guy what I usually got. I proceeded to let me know "Oh yeah, don't worry buddy, I know exactly what you mean" Hah, famous last words that my former hair heard.
At any rate, I think I could pass for a military cadet, but I guess it's easier to lose a few ounces of hair than it is to try to lose any weight off of my trailer/bike. You know it's bad when your hear someone say "don't worry, it will grow back fast".
So tomorrow will be a shorter day again from Havana to Heyworth. I'll probably avoid US 136 due to traffic and that the back roads are typically just more pleasant. I'll be staying with my old high school friends Matt and Shawna who just purchased their first house in Heyworth! Also, looking forward to seeing some old high school friends for dinner tonight.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I would say that my journey is pretty much broken up in my mind as the 1) California/Nevada - getting the body in shape, serious heat, and long stretches of nothing 2) Utah - physical pain, dry air, and beautiful canyon landscapes 3) Colorado - low oxygen levels, green hillsides and mountain peaks, nice roads and interesting meetings 4) Eastern CO, Kansas, Missouri - flat but scenic, life moves slower, people are generally nice or genuinely scared of people in spandex, small towns with lots of character, 5) Illinois - feels like home and recognizing familiar
So far, I've actually hit 8 states so far, lost 5 pounds, changed 5 tires, eaten at least 100 peanut butter crackers, burned one billion calories, ridden 2800 miles, and climbed about 90,000 feet of elevation. I should make that into some type of graphic.
So the last two days have been spectacular because Fern and Sam have been so nice to carry my trailer so I've been riding about 50 pounds lighter. So while I'm huffing through the bluffs of Western Illinois, my belongings have been getting a beautiful tour of Illinois, the Quad Cities, and other interesting things in the Mississippi River watershed.
Today as I said was fairly standard. I had a 98 mile ride today that started across the Mississippi River from Keokuk and crossed into Illinois. Some interesting highlights include seeing the origins of Illinois Route 9, which is the same road that I live on back in Gibson City (if you were to travel down that road for about 150 miles). I didn't exactly have many towns of any substantial size during the ride today, so my food choices were pretty limited. My meals between 8am and 5pm consisted of 2 packs of peanut M&Ms (2 for 1 deal at the gas station), a pack of crackers, some almonds, 2 bananas, 1 apple, leftover trail mix, red bull and water, oh yes and a nutrigrain bar. Not exactly the meal of champions, but it did hold me over until a wonderful dinner.
There were some very pretty sights along the way, including this covered bridge. (read the old school script over the entrance)
Here I am entering the town of Oquawka, which in my opinion has been the BEST town name by far on my whole trip. If the town was called Owauka, it would be kinda funny to me, but then they through in the Q to make it even that much more fun. Apologies if Oquawka means something very important and honorable, which I'm sure it does. But I still think it's a fun name to say for a town. I'm a bit envious. I wonder if the city council of Oquawka has to make formal statements on letterhead... I think it would be hard to take seriously.... " The people of Oquawka feel that..."
So this trip through Western Illinois has allowed me to explore plenty of small towns and places that I'd heard of but never had the opportuntiy to visit. For example, Monmouth College!
And I never would have gotten the chance to visit these small horses (insert proper name for these guys here) .
But the day ultimately ended in Galesburg. Nice little town which is host of the world largest rail yard (I haven't seen it yet... must not be THAT large). Tomorrow, I'll be headed south and east edging closer to Gibson. I'm hoping to make it to Havana (which can be found by going through Cuba, IL). The ride should take me about half the day as it's around 65 miles from here.
We're here at the Holiday Inn Express here in Galesburg, which might as well be a little slice of heaven. Hot tub and enormous continental breakfast. I should do dishes here just so I can stay a few more days.
Hope things are going well for you all and big thanks again to all of my friends and family for your help and support!
Monday, August 31, 2009
So my legs, my bike, and the weather above have been really nice to me and I've been able to make some good progress. So I am actually planning on moving up my arrival date from Monday (9/7) to Sunday (9/6). ALSO, what I am thinking right now is that I'd like to invite anyone who wants to ride to join me on my last day ride into Gibson City. To make it enticing, I'm thinking about spending my last night in Fisher, IL (maybe on the soccer field for nostalgia reasons), then making it a short 10 mile ride into Gibson on Sunday morning. Just a thought to toss around. But I definitely think I can make it home by earlier than Monday. So for those of you hopeful or seasoned cyclists out there, feel free to take a Sunday stroll with me back to Gibson from just Bunny territory. If you're interested or have further suggestions, please let me know!
Here is my proposed schedule for the next few days, which is, as always, subject to change.
Tuesday: Galesburg, IL
Wednesday: Havana, IL
Friday: Heyworth, IL
Saturday: Fisher, IL
Today's Summary: Louisiana, MO -> Keokuk, IA (via Illinois) ~ 93 Miles
So we (me, Fern, and Sam) were staying at the River's Edge Motel in Louisana, MO. I think the story of the Supawanich reunion in Missouri (Fern and Sam live in Boston, and me being from San Francisco) struck the heart of the woman who checked us into our room, so we were awarded with the riverfront room facing the Mississippi River. The room greeted us with this beautiful shot this morning when the sun was coming up. However, this picture omits the railroad tracks which also run along the river, just out of sight, that carries coal trains up an down the river at least once every 2 hours.... even at night... with whistles blaring. Well, the view was at least very nice.
The ride this morning through Missouri up to Hannibal (home of Mark Twain) was pretty brutal. Missouri hills look like Utah's but with trees and funny signs on bridges telling me that they won't collapse (read previous post). So it was up and down all morning and my altimeter looked like an earthquake meter had hit it.
Aside: even though rolling hills are beautiful, they are the bane for cyclists. Nothing is worse than throwing your whole body into pulling you up a steep hill, only to lose that altitude as another massive hill looms in front of you.
But once I rolled into Hannibal, it was time to check out some of the sights and historical places associated with Mark Twain.
So I must say. I imagine for some how visiting Mark Twain's boyhood home would probably pretty cool. But unfortunately, I don't think I ever read Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer or any other of Mr. Twain's books. So visiting didn't really have the biggest effect on me. But, maybe someday, I'll at least look at the pictures that I took and tingle inside just a bit. The bigger excitement for the day still layahead.
Illinois! Finally! After 5 weeks I finally made it back to the state of my roots. It's great to be back. As soon as I crossed over to IL, the roads flattened out, the winds came to my back, and the birds started singing again. Well the latter two things didn't happen, but I was pretty jazzed about being back. Also, this picture was taken on I-72. Yes, they let bikes on the interstate here! Just to cross the river at least. But you better believe that I was living up the moment and crusing along in the fast lane at a whopping 22 miles per hour.
So after a brief lunch stop in Quincy (site of one of the Lincoln-Douglass debates btw), I made my way north to try to make it to Keokuk because Illinois was getting boring. Actually, it's because I've never been to Iowa. I think I have this strange facination with people from Iowa. My sister put it like this: maybe it's because we think of them has the a little-quirky, but super geniunly nice people that resemble Canadians in the US. I just think I have this impression that they're the super rationale, practical, and progressive Midwesterners. So I wanted to meet some by visiting. However, by staying in Keokuk, it's probably not a fair representation since it's only a 1mile from illinois and about 5 miles from Missouri.... oh well. I tried.
So back to the story. I have this impression that Illinois country roads form a grid and are all paved. Well around Gibson City, they pretty much were. But out here in River country, things are a bit different. I thought I'd take a little shortcut, and the road went to paved, badly paved, gravel, and then huge gravel (impassible by road bike). My map said that I'd find freedom about 1.4 miles ahead, so at that point, the bike and I went on a little walk through the fields.
I'd like to refer to it as "cross-training" and not "getting lost". I did have an opportunity to make a few phone calls and be passed by an uninterested cable repair man that didn't seem to be bothered by the kid in spandex walking his bike across a bean field.
So after that little escapade.... It wouldn't be long before I made it into land of my curosity. Here I am entering Keokuk. As I was taking this picture, there were a few teens rolling their eyes and pointing. Hmm, not making a very good impression on these people so far.
But anyway, here I am. Iowa has been nice (as far as I can tell) so far. But I won't be here long. After I bankrupt the Holiday Inn Express Breakfast Buffet tomorrow morning, I'll be riding back to the Land of Lincoln and heading up through Nauvoo towards Galesburg (site of the country's largest rail yard)
So quick recap: I'll be getting to Gibson on Sunday morning and I hope you'll join me for the ride. It's short! 10 miles or so from Fisher back to Gibson. (for those from out of town, flights and amtrak are just a hop away from Fisher)
Looking forward to seeing you all and am also sad that this ride is nearing its end! Hope all is well back at home (where ever that may be). Finally, a huge thank you goes out to my sister Fern and her husband Sam for helping me out today with the trailer and keeping me well fed and supported! It's been great to have company and I hope they're not too bored with the schedule.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
And I was joined by Fern (my sister) and her husband Sam! Unfortunately, the boys couldn't make the trip and are back with the grandparents in West Layfayette, IN. However! They surprised me with these AWESOME shirts! It's hard to see from here... but the logos say "Team Supawanich - Pit Crew". They're pretty amazing, I'm very humbled. So I'm here with both Fern and Sam and went out to a nice dinner here in Lousiana and took a quick tour of the town. They'll both be with me for the next few days as we journey up the Mississippi River.
I'm pretty excited about this part of the trip. Not only are we close to Illinois, but this is the part of Illinois that I'd always kinda read about.. and looked at on maps, but I'd never been here.
Here are the shirts btw.
quick recap from yesterday:
Hello mississippi river!
As for tomorrow... heading northward towards Hannibal, then onto Illinois and north towards Iowa! Back to GC in about a week!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Oh also... I'm off schedule as you may have realized. No particular reason aside from the fact that I'm getting a bit lazy and that I've wanted to explore around this part of the world a bit more as I'm not sure exactly when I'll be back to Washington,MO for a wander around. I still plan on being in Gibson on Sept 7th with maybe a swing through Iowa and perhaps Galesburg, IL.
Thursday (Clinton -> Boonville, MO) ~ 82 miles
So by the way, the people in Clinton, MO were SO nice to me and I hope that they're reading this. Not only did I get a chance to showoff their new downtown wi-fi, I was riding around town after dinner and had a couple (who were friend's of the Noellsch's back in Gibson City) seek me out and actually tracked me down. We chatted for a while, I believe their names were Larry and Bobbi? Then after that, it was getting a bit late and I headed back to my campsite (which was at the community fairgrounds) and was getting cleaned up, just in time to have another visitor. A woman (who I've forgotten her name...sorry!) brought her family over to check on me to see if everything was ok. This was the same woman who I'd met earlier in the day at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. Awesome. Thanks Clinton, MO!
So anyway, back to the chase. I started my ride to Boonville on the Katy Trail. The Katy is an old rail line that streches across Missouri. It's great because it cuts through those insane hills that Missouri has (and doesn't advertise). The grades are capped around 4% and makes for a nice easy ride through the coutnryside. So I thought it would be a good idea to try the road for a little bit mid-day (I can average around 16-17 on pavement vs 12-13 on the gravel trail).... but of course I was scolded by my actions with some serious hills that knocked me out.... I was back on the trail shortly.
The trail is great for a number of reasons.... you can pretty much zone out and not worry about traffic and although it's not advised... the helmet was off to allow my head to feel real sunshine again which was wonderful. I passed through a few other notable towns including Sedalia, MO (home of the Missouri State Fair). Nice little town with a very cool downtown for it's size.
That evening, I spent the night in Boonville, MO (named after Daniel Boone) a very prominent figure here in Missouri. The trail itself has lots of history on it, including history of the towns that it passes as well as lots about the Lewis and Clark expeditions westward. I've been taking my time a bit more through here just to soak in some of the information. By the time I got to Boonville, it was pouring. Nothing like finishing off the day soaking wet with trail dust caked to your entire body. Yum. With the help of the Noellsch Family (who seems to know 1 of 10 people in the state of Missouri), they were able to set me up with the McVicker family of Boonville. They lived in a very pretty old farmhouse just a few miles out of town. I stayed there and was fed an awesome dinner (and breakfast... with cereal for which I was longing for).
Friday (Boonville -> Hermann, MO) 103 Miles
So I left Boonville again and can say that Friday wasn't terribly interesting, well at least not to write about. There are often days when I have so many things that I'm thinking... oh, I can't wait to write about this! Friday was not one of those days. The first 50 miles or so were uneventful and under a thick mist which pretty much soaked everything that I tirelessly dried the day before. Oh well.
But, I was going to be able to visit Jefferson City today! alright! Well that's what I thought. The Katy Trail dumps you off at North Jefferson City which is just on the north side of the Missouri River. Unfortunately, the only way into town is to take the highway bridge (pretty much like an interstate...) but with no shoulder. So I tried it. Went down the onramp and everything, until the 80 mile per hour traffic was literally inches away because the shoulder had disappared... thanks MODOT. So now I can say that I've biked up a highway onramp in the wrong direction. check.
Also, that side of the highway was a big void of any types of services. Luckily, I found a small golf course about a mile away that served food, and I ate plenty. Here's a shot of Jefferson City from atop the bridge.
However, my evening way much more exciting. I eventually made it to Hermann , MO , which is in the middle of the Missouri wine country that I did not know existed. I parked up next to these folks , Eugene and Patti from Troy, IL. My first encounters with Illinoians! Alright!
They were so nice and hospitable. We chatted until the evening about his love of music, their kids, and their awesome new camper. They even let me grab a quick shower inside (it was a very nice camper). Eugene had all kinds of great tidbits of knowledge so it was quite the education for me. They were staying in the area to do some wine tasting before eventually heading back to Illinois.Saturday (Hermann -> St. Charles) ~ 60 miles
So my day has been good so far, right up to the point where I entered Washington, MO and I was greeted by this screw.
So that's my trailer tire... which now has two green slime patches holding it together. It should be good , but let's hope it holds up until Gibson! I'll be headed to St. Charles today to be reunited with some Gibson folks! Exciting! I'll be meeting up with Skyler and Jenna tonight which will be awesome. I even hear that I may have a chance to catch the Cardinals game! What a way to end the week.
As for the next few days... the plan isn't quite set. I'll be meeting up with my sister Fern and her husband Sam tomorrow evening somewhere along the Mississippi and I'll be with them for a few days. Looking forward to spending some time with them and also seeing the sights along the Great River Road.
I'll leave you with this video of cows bathing along the Katy Trail... because I realize it's very relevant to this post.
Ride safely and have a great weekend.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So it's been fun 24 hours since my last post. I've made it into Clinton, Missouri after about a 75 mile ride from Nevada this morning. My time in Nevada was great! I was able to stay with a lady named Wanda, who took me in for the night and fed me a fantastic dinner and filling breakfast. Follow this one if you can... Wanda was the mother of my high school friend's dad's college roomate. Regardless, she was super hospitable and made my evening in Nevada quite memorable. She was telling me all kinds of stories from her 82 years in Southwest Missouri. Here's a picture of Wanda right after she did a few laps around the block on the bike, she didn't even break a sweat. Ok she didn't really ride the bike, but she did joke about it.
So anyway, I woke up this morning around 6:30 and eventually hit the road around 8:00am. As I was pulling out of Nevada, I witnessed a car that had some keys fall off of the top. I picked up the keys and contemplated a chase to give them back... but obviously after 31 days on the bike, you realize that you're not faster than cars. So I searched around for the PD and turned thoses things in.
Today's ride was pretty uneventful. No one told me Missouri was so darn hilly... seriously, I might as well been back in Colorado. But it was pretty no doubt. I was passing through the area just to the west of Lake of the Ozarks and the scenery was quite nice. I stopped and took a few pictures, including this one.
Also, I stopped along the way to read a history sign and also saw a guy working on his camper. I offered to help him out, which he declined. But all of the sudden I found myself agreeing to watching his dog while he went to town to get a part for the truck. Wait a minute, how far is town? how long was I going to be standing there waiting for him? What's the dogs name? All questions I should have asked beforehand....
Well make a long story short, he was gone for only 20 minutes or so... while I debated leaving, I stuck it out because the beagle was too cute to leave alone.
Another thing, I love the Midwest because people call it Pop and they sell Dr Pepper in droves.... I have a weakness for that stuff and luckily it doesn't exist in great numbers out west like it does here. Here's a small photo of heaven... DP for 50 cents.
So I rollled into Clinton around 3:30 and decided that I would stop in the Tourist Center for a few maps and a hello. Boy did I get a greeting. They were very hospitable and put me to work right away. Apparently, they've been waiting for a cyclist to pull through for a while so they could get a photo opp showcasing their new free downtown wi-fi (wait a minute.... how come I'm paying $1 for the internet at the library....). So after some discussion, we went out to the town square (biggest in MO btw), to get the photo opp.
Here I am (and other local Clinton-ens) enjoying the new wi-fi on my internet enabled phone... (which isn't actualy mine...)
Also, when I was in Nevada, Wanda had called the local paper, so I actually was interviewed while there as well. (Check the Nevada Daily Mail in the next few days for my breakout article in Missouri). So at this pace, I'll have to figure out how to be in the news tomorrow as well... for some reason I'm thinking that I would have to do something illegal to keep this pace up...
Anyways, I'll be at the fairgrounds tonight camping under the pavillion. It's supposed to rain, so I'm hoping it'll cool things down a bit before I hit the Katy Trail tomrrow!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The day has started off pretty well, it's getting a bit hot out there, but admittedly, it's still much cooler here in eastern Kansas than normal. But again, it's probably getting into the lower 90s today. So last night, I camped up in a motel in Iola, KS (birthplace of General Funston if you didn't already know, another world first in accordance to my blog post yesterday). It was nice to be able to leave my stuff behind and take a stroll around town. I did in fact check out the actual birthhome of General Funston and brushed up on some of my American History while at it. Also, on my innocent little walk around town, I managed to find another Dairy Queen, where I purchased yet another Oreo Blizzard...mmm so good.
After that, it was back to the motel for some Family Guy and some rest. I woke this morning a bit later than normal and packed up to head out. Now, I'm offically off of the marked route according to the American Cycling Association, so it's been interesting to see what the roads would be like and what other gems I would find. So I headed east on US Hwy 54 through a small town called "Gas" and another small town which claimed another world first, the first horseshoe throwing contest in 1909... who knew? I sure didn't.
I arrived in Ft Scott around noon, just in time for lunch. After a very brief visit to historic fort scott, I came looking for this libary, and also stumbled across Holly's Hot Dog stand. Holly had just moved back from Sacramento, CA and in addition to a job at the hospital, she also decided to open a hot dog stand, which is decidedly less stressful and more social. She treated me to two hot dogs and a drink which really hit the spot. While on lunch break, I also had a chance to chat with a few other locals from Ft Scott, Joanna, the county clerk chatted with me and threw out some other historical facts about the area. Did you know, that Ft Scott's National Cemetary came before Arlington? yep, I didn't. So anyway, my lunch experience today once again reinforced that people here in the midwest are great and It's been great to be back. Big thank you to Holly and her father Bob!
Also, just as a side note, I forgot how big the bugs are here. Yes, California has bugs, but california bugs would be like bringing your smart car from Berkeley and parking it next to the horse hauler f250s from Kansas. Bugs here are big. I think i may have welts from them smashing into me along the highway. Yesterday, a dragonfly hit me square in the face and it felt as if someone threw a tennis ball (slightly less round and fuzzy) at my face.