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'Let's Do It!' (Part 5) - An almost Cross Country Cycling Adventure (Adrian, TX to Hays, KS)

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'Let's Do It!' (Part 5) - An almost Cross Country Cycling Adventure (Adrian, TX to Hays, KS)

Headwinds greeted us as we journeyed east out of Adrian, TX. It was mid-September and the weather was changing as we could see our breath in the morning shuffle to pack our bikes, eat, shake the tiredness from our legs and take a quick blood sugar to see where my blood sugars were residing.  Our timing for this adventure would reveal outstanding Fall colors while scrambling for warmer clothing as the temperatures began to sink.  Not matter, each day was
amazing and a true revealing of the wonderful American spirit and hospitality. 

We are joined by a overly friendly dog - Between Adrian and Amarillo, TX

We are joined by a overly friendly dog - Between Adrian and Amarillo, TX

Going through my journal from the trip, I see that on this short segment that while we pulled onto an on ramp I would grab onto a truck bumper and got a free, yet limited ride.  Yes, I have just disallowed my riding a bicycle from Tucson, AZ to Yorktown, VA. 

Oklahoma sign-e.jpg

This short Texas segment also included the dog in the photo above.  Rog had stopped to pet the Toto and soon the dog had chosen us as his new owners.  He went Crazy!  The photo must be me and said dog as he/she, for some silly reason, elected to stick by me mimicking a tick.  Rog found this to be of supreme humor.  After 3+ miles (at 14 miles per hour) Toto tuckered out and was seen no more.

One of the all-time best billboards ever created - Oklahoma

One of the all-time best billboards ever created - Oklahoma

Good fortune would see us with at Wayland Baptist University for a visit with Roger's brother, Lance.  Four walls and a roof over your head is a special highlight when you are seeing your breath in the morning. Also, managed to play some basketball, frisbee and continued our tradition of eating almost everything in sight.  

Lance drove us back to the route where a flash flood and tornado had touched the area the day before.  More good timing for the bike riders who prefer to avoid tornado's when possible. We would encounter some of the wet stuff and it was apparent that we were heading into a storm. Roger likes these rough, snotty conditions. I am not craving misery, although I have an ability to deal with most anything that is tossed my way or deluges from above.

A 109-mile day and we were into Oklahoma and pretty much out. The panhandle of OK is short by all standards and we rolled into Kansas, my birthplace and home for all of six months. This would be our third 100+ mile day.  I still think back to how incredible this was as we were carrying loads that should only be transported by something with a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy.  Yes, an engine.

Both of us with my Grandma (Eleanor Gottschalk) in Hays, KS

Both of us with my Grandma (Eleanor Gottschalk) in Hays, KS

Kansas sign.jpg

Roger would share during this segment, "This whole thing is still novel.  If the time is right and the music inspiring, I'll get goosebumps all over my legs and my understanding will tingle with joy, just thinking about how fun this is."

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Let's Do It! (Part 3)

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Let's Do It! (Part 3)

Let's Do It! (Part 3)

At the end of Part 2, I mentioned something about the fact that Roger and I rarely knew where we would be resting our heads  after a day on the bicycle.  That was part of the excitement of the day as we pedaled to the end of either:

1.  our sanity

2.  our hunger

3.  daylight

4.  our physical limits

5.  all of the above

I only remember 3 hotel/motel stopovers.  These were not planned, just happened to come across a cheap hotel/motel or we truly needed a shower.  

The beauty of this adventure was a true lack of planning and a 'winging it' attitude.  Since we only had about 1.5 months to prepare, it did not allow us to do much planning other than the expected scurry to get out of Tucson, pedaling east.

Since I have diabetes there was at least a degree of extra planning on my part.  Keeping Dave alive would require insulin, syringes, low blood sugar items, blood testing supplies, patience, and perseverance.  

We did a lot of camping out.  This was in Santa Fe, NM

The true heroes of the tour were the fraternities, kind families we usually met in grocery stores, churches, and the dependable fire departments.  They always took us in.  I can still remember sleeping in a fire truck. I have this vague memory of setting off the fire alarm in the fire station in Sonora, Kentucky, as we accidently burned, yet another meal.  I will have to dig into my photo archives for the classic photo of Rog dressed in fireman apparel on his bicycle.  

One of those lingering memories is a couple in Missouri that invited us to stay at their home.  After dinner they went out for the evening.  We had the place to ourselves.

A list of places we challenged ourselves to spend the night included:

Cemetery

- score!

Jail

- we were rejected

The Cookie Lady

- A Virginia must stop!  There were cookies, so not really a 'true' challenge.

Bus

- Don't remember if it was on our challenge list, but we managed a bizarre evening in a bus.

Yes, after Part 3 we will escape New Mexico!

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