I woke up next to the picnic table in the city park pavilion. My bicycle and gear remained intact. I headed across the street to grab my battery pack which I plugged in the outside outlet to a construction yard building. Then I grabbed my bicycle and hit the road.
After ten miles I stopped to eat breakfast next to an apple tree where I picked some apples for the road. The sweet taste made my tongue water for more. Shocked, I continued to indulge, apple after apple, at their delectable taste since it was late in the season. They made the perfect snack while riding through the flat terrain.
After a few more miles I bumped into another cyclist, Eric, who sold his business and hit the road west to eastbound for his home in Annapolis, Maryland. At 59 he said, “Now or never I have wanted to do this since college.” I agreed. We exchanged stories, recommended places to stay and told one another what lied ahead in our journeys. Then we parted ways.
After 50 miles I stopped and took a break in Chanute, Kansas. I indulged in two peanut butter and jelly sammiches while I looked out across the deep blue lake seeing the ripples splash up against the shore from the calm winds. Geese swam in circles patiently waiting for me to toss them food. Normally, I would, but I need all the food I can get because I am burning far more calories than I am consuming each day.
I ventured on down the road and I ran over a goat-head. Pzzzzzzz….the sound my front tire made until the rim scuffed up against the coarse gravel road. I have become a pro at changing them so I did not mind. I threw on a thorn resistant tube and hit the road a few minutes later ending up in Toronto Lake State Park. I waited the whole day for scenic views and I am glad I made the 90 mile trek because it could not have been more beautiful. I peered out over the lake from the guardrail where small cliffs trickled down to the shoreline. The lake enveloped by trees, cliffs and a roadway that led to the campground. I sat and took in the scenery until heading off to the campsite where I found a spot to stealth camp.
The 90 mile day wound up being a breeze. I also found a silo to climb tomorrow morning at the entrance of Toronto Lake. I ended up hanging out for a bit and spoke with Stephen Olsick, Aaron Hanson’s manager, on Facebook about my encounter with the meth addict. I will post our conversation here when I get to a computer.