Bazine KS to Hudson KS - 91 miles
We left the Bazine Bicycle Oasis early in the morning to beat the rising heat, continuing down highway 96 to Rush Center. And then we did something we had not done for a while. We turned.
The Kansas highway system looks like the Manhattan street system, built on a grid. But the difference is that the "blocks" in Kansas are 20 miles by 15 miles. The crew had been on Highway 96 since Pueblo, CO--over 300 miles. Now we turned south for "one block" and then east again onto the next highway. This brought us to Larned for lunch at Subway.
As the temperature continued to rise we pressed ahead to Hudson. I called my college roommate's sister-in-law, who lives in Kansas, to see if she knew anyone in Hudson (pop 150) who could provide guidance to us on a place to stay. Her son had a high school teacher who has a friend in Hudson. The friend is Sally Bowers.
Mrs. Bowers, who was the Secretary of the Hudson High School Class of 1953, opened up the town community center and cranked up the air conditioning, saving us from the 100 degree heat at 6p. She then brought us the most amazing dinner of homemade BBQ, super-tasty green beans, potato salad, homemade bread and much more. It turns out we totally lucked out--she owns a catering business!!! What a treat for us.
Today's Crew Profile: Sam Billings
Sam is a serene rider--nothing fazes him. He rides in a big gear at a slow cadence, requiring incredible strength on the hills. Yet while riding he enjoys the scenery of Kansas and company of the Crew. He is really trusted by the other boys. They have this ongoing blackjack game. There are dealers and players. Sam is "Security", holding the money. Dehydration in this heat is a big deal. Sam certainly had the best line about dehydration: "When you start seeing Gumby [the claymation character], you are dehydrated."
Sam's 17th Birthday is today!!! Mrs. Bowers made a chocolate cake for Sam and we all celebrated in Hudson. The Crew thought about buying him something big and brass, but felt it might be a bit heavy for him to carry home. So instead Sam received congratulations, stories, a call from his Mom, and an extra piece of cake! Happy Birthday, Sam!