Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
When 4:30 a.m. came on the clock this morning, I couldn’t believe that it was time to get out of bed again. The 100-miler yesterday had worked my body pretty hard. Still, I had to get up and get rolling.
Leaving Chanute was easy for about 5 miles, then I ran into a bridge out/road closed sign. Not only was the road closed, but the pavement was totally gone. I found a guy going to work at a local business and asked what the options were to get around the bridge. “Turn left, turn right, then turn left again, and oh, by the way, it is all on gravel.” I decided to ride down the road and see if I could get over the bridge. There had been so little rain in the area that I was able to cross the creek bed. It was easy to see that others had done it, too.
With that short delay, I gave myself a goal to push hard all morning, then I would take most of the afternoon off. The morning had a gentle breeze, so off I went.
I rolled through Shaw, with just a church and a few houses. Next stop, as the road became increasingly hilly, was a convenience store in Walnut. It was the first store on the whole trip with Little Debbie brownies, so I got one. After speaking to a local farmer about land costs, rent prices and field sizes, it was time to push it the rest of the way.
Next stop was Girard, the last town on Map 8. This was my chance to get ice cream and rev the engine a little. Now the goal and final destination for the day was Pittsburgh, Kan. It is the first town on Map 9, and the last town in Kansas. I finished with 60 miles by 1 p.m., and got a room at the Holiday Lodge. An easy afternoon and a couple of good meals have charged up my motor again.
Tomorrow, I will head out very early into Missouri and the Ozarks. There is no lodging available tomorrow, so I will be camping. The temperatures are starting to build in Missouri, too, heading to the mid 90s for the rest of the week.
A few thoughts from today’s ride include the presence of dogs and the last of Kansas. Twice today, dogs got after me and there will be more of that as I head into a more populated area. I will see the last of Kansas early tomorrow. Remembrances of Kansas include the pummeling winds, temperatures as high as 107, lots of nice and helpful people, and those biting flies. It is a beautiful state, but clearly large agricultural fields dominate the landscape.
It wasn’t my hardest day, but the afternoon of rest was needed. Back after it full speed tomorrow.
David Freeze lives in Rowan County.