June 12, Saturday
Boy, it was a hot and sweaty night last night. I hate camping in humid heat. Eastern Kansas is more humid than western Kansas. I grew up only 35 miles west of here, so I should know. Hard to sleep when you're sweating. Oh well.
Woke up to a breakfast served by Chris Cakes. He's known for his flamboyant style of cooking and serving pancakes. This meal was on BAK. We had them for a breakfast on our 2007 ride, too. They're fun, and the food's good, too.
Then we hit the road. It's a short day planned, with a finale at Leavenworth and a catered hot meal for lunch. The first picture is our crossing of the Kansas River. I have a history with that river. Grew up in Topeka area, which is a Kansas River town. Then college at Kansas State in Manhattan, which is near the source of the Kansas River. I've floated St. George to Wamego a couple times. I like that river.
We met a confusing lady in the morning. Cody was in lead and stopped first, because she asked if he could carry a bag of green beans to town to the homeless shelter. We caught up with him and stopped, too. She asked if we heard the voices . . . the voices in the traffic. They come from the tires. We told her we didn't. She encourages us to keep trying. She said it's important to tell people what we're doing on BAK, and there are many Lords. She doesn't know who the authorities are, and we all have different levels of authority. We could tell our conversation should end and we needed to move on. We bid her farewell.
Half way through the day our average speed is 15.2 mph! I can tell the week has made me stronger. We have overcast but no rain. Made it to Tonganoxie just fine. Then . . . RAIN, and rain and rain. It never ended for the remainder of the day. Some lightning but not close and mean. No big wind. The mood dampens. We keep pedaling. Wet doesn't kill you.
We make it to Leavenworth and the rain picks up. The traditional BAK individual ceremony, when the trip ends at the Missouri River, is to dip the front tire in the river for the symbolic end of the trip. We had trip notes on where to go, and we tried, but we couldn't find the river access point. We're soaked to the bone, visibility decreasing and we're lost, so we decide to scrap the tire dipping (we did find a beautiful park with a river overview) and proceed to the park for the cook-out. Many others are in our situation, so we cruise to the park together.
We get there and need to wait an hour before the food's ready. Only two shelters. One is full, and the other will be used for serving. We huddle under some kids playground equipment until food is ready. We unload trucks in the rain. We're served food in the rain and most riders need to stand in the rain to eat, too. We scurry to eat under the playground gym with a partial cover (that few others have seen). We're starting to catch a chill as our wives arrive and we load up and leave.
But, we do have a good ending. We stop at the Depot Restaurant, which is a refurbished Depot. Wilma hadn't eaten yet so she ordered a regular meal. The rest of us had eaten a soggy BBQ chicken dinner in the rain, so we each ordered a hot cinnamon roll and I added a hot coffee. As we waited for the food to be served, we changed into dry clothes. We had a great chat, good food, dry clothes. Life is good.
Will we do a BAK again? We don't need to think about that now. It's time to stay dry for a while.
Vavg 13.9 mph
2 hr 43 min