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Brian Cray - Budget Travel

Hitchhiking, Train Hopping, & Backpacking

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Larned, Kansas

I turned over on the couch grabbing my head. I regretted pounding down those six shocktops from the previous night.  I grabbed some water and breakfast, which consisted of eggs and a fruit smoothie.  Just the energy I needed for our big day.

Newton Bike Shop

Newton Bike Shop in Newton, Kansas

We left for Newton Bike Shop and arrived around 8:30 AM.  James gave us directions to Nickerson by taking 50 West to 96 West.  We prepped all our gear and Josh and I headed out within the hour.

Not even three miles into the day and my back tire rubbed against the asphalt making me lose control of my bicycle.  I ran straight over a screw, which left a huge gouge in my tire.  The patch didn’t hold so I threw on a new tube.  A woman stopped to help, but everything was under control.

Newton Kansas

Powerade before a long trek through the middle of nowhere!

We continued on to Hutchinson and I lost Josh, but we randomly met up at the McDonald’s down the road. I bought three McDoubles, a redbull and refilled my water.  We made it to Nickerson in a little under an hour.  I filled out a letter for jury duty to be excused from my summons on the 17th of October.  Then we hit up the Kwik Stop and loaded up on gatorades for the next 60 mile trek through a wildlife refuge with no services.

Despite being a wildlife refuge we did not see much of anything.  Just a series of really flat landscape intertwined with the ocassional tree.  Today took a lot of mental focus and endurance.  Since we left so late we ended up biking into the night past the sunset.  I lost Josh towards the end because I could not keep up with his cleets and clip-ins.  I biked into the dark, chilly night, purely exhausted and frustrated.  I kept going on pure determination.  The sky twinkled with hundreds of stars all hovering above me in the pure darkness.  After a few more miles I finally made it to a city park in Larned.  A goal accomplished that day and milestone for the trip: 107 miles.

Larned Kansas

Sunset right outside of Larned Kansas!

I passed out quickly, my legs aching and head throbbing, but spirit still just as strong as when I left the first day.

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