I guess I need to clear up a statement I made yesterday. Apparently I stated that I imagined Kansas being like Scotland. That was not the case. What I was referring to was that the land was getting much flatter which is what I had imagined Kansas being. I hope that is clearer for people. The generosity and kindness of the people in Kansas has blown me away though.
This morning started off pretty well. We were able to get an early start as the temperatures were forecasted to be in the 100’s. Today’s plan was to shoot across Kansas to the town of Larned. There was only one thing stopping us from accomplishing this goal. A 60 mile stretch where there was absolutely nothing in regards to public establishments where we could get water or escape the heat. A difficult task seeing that the temperature peaked at 109 degrees today. The heat was brutal! At one point my bike computer said the heat index was 122 degrees. This is what it looked like for 60 miles.
We were able to stop at one house for a few short minutes and we took a short detour to a place called Mom’s Bar & Grill to escape the heat. Interesting place. It was down a road and in a town of 86 people. The lady was so nice though. They weren’t even open but she was making jelly and allowed us to cool down for 45 minutes or so.
We found our way to Larned after 105 miles and made our way to the city park for the night where they allow cyclists to camp. One thing that Kansas knows how to do is build a city park. This one has a duck pond with elaborate waterfalls, skatepark, multiple ball fields and tennis courts, fountains, and a pool with water slides etc. They allowed us to swim for a bit and use the shower as well.
Today we passed a couple of different cyclists, however none seemed to care to stop and chat. One group was on a tandem bike which was pretty awesome. While at the park we did run into two guys who are traveling the same direction as us. The cool thing about them is that there bikes are made from bamboo that they actually grew. You can follow their blog at The Alabama Bamboo Make and Ride. We are planning on all riding together tomorrow.
Back to this morning. As we were riding early in the morning I was worshipping the Lord and was overwhelmed with joy as I reflected back to my trip to Ethiopia last summer. It was during this time that two families that I am very fond of and are close to were in the process of adopting children from Ethiopia. Last year on my birthday I had the honor to travel to the island where two of these children are from and spend the day with their birth family and the rest of their community. While I was there the community elders held a meeting to decide on what the community needed the most because we had asked them how we could help them. I can’t explain the feeling I had while listening to these gentlemen discuss the issues they face on a daily basis just to survive. The number one thing they needed was clean water. It is a day that is forever etched into my heart. It is a day that drives me each and everyday to do something. Water. One of the simplest things to us here in America is so life changing for others in the world. I consider myself blessed to even have this opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. And I am truly grateful to all those that have come along side in the journey and supported our efforts in bringing clean water to The people in Ethiopia. It brought tears to my eyes as I rode this morning thinking of the day when the first pump of a new well becomes reality.